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Santo Domingo District

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Santo Domingo District


Basic Information

Location Avila, Spain
Country Spain
City Avila
Address Avila, Spain

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 40.6574,-4.7062


The current Vallespín street recently also given its traditional name of Rua de Zapateros, constitutes a major thoroughfare between Mercado Chico and the gate of Adaja which clearly delimits the frontier of the Ávila Jewish quarter which was situated on its left in the Santo Domingo district, well-connected with the main thoroughfares of Santo Domingo and Telares streets. As in many other cities possessing a Jewish quarter, Zapateros (cobblers') street refers to one of the main trades of the Jews inhabiting Ávila who also prevailed in other trades like clothing and footwear as well as various crafts. This streets houses the palacio de Polentinos (Polentinos palace) from the 16th century, currently the Military History Archive which boasts an extraordinary plateresque door.

The separation of the Jews which was to be applied by the Pragmática of 1412 was avoided in Ávila because the Cabildo (council) rented houses and premises to Jews and was not interested in any measure which could have led to a fall in its revenue. The Jews continued to live in the streets neighbouring the Cathedral or between Mercado Chico and Grande on Zapateros Street, San Juan Square, Arch of Montenegro and from the Gate of Bad Luck to the face of the town wall at Adaja Bridge.

In 1442 when the Papal bull issued by Eugene IV arrived, Álvaro de Luna refused to accept it and convinced Juan II to act in favour of the Jewish people who were so loyal. After Enrique IV came to the throne in 1454, he adopted the previous laws and authorised unlimited commerce, a free market and economic freedom which benefitted the Jews of Ávila.

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