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Sinagoga del Transito
Sinagoga del Transito
|Location Calle Samuel Levi, Toledo, España|
|Phone number +925 223665|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 39.8559,-4.02929|
The Sinagoga del Transito is a two-in-one attraction. Built in 1366, nowadays it contains the Museo Sefardi, detailing medieval Jewish life in Toledo. Once the main house of worship for the Toledo's Jewish population, today the building presents a vast array of historical Spanish Jewish art, including the stucco Hebrew inscriptions.
The museum consists of many sites and features that draw tourists from all over the world. Making the building distinguishable is its lavish architecture such as the exterior of the rectangular synagogue which is relatively plain yet attractive, made of creamy-colored brick and stone. The exterior is further enhanced by the street-facing facade which is adorned with seven round windows enriched by blind arcades and wooden balconies.
The interior of the museum is also extremely distinguishable as the main prayer hall is covered with intricate Mudéjar decoration and Hebrew inscriptions, glorifying G-d, Peter the Cruel, and Levi himself. These inscriptions depict the psalms inscribed along the top of the walls and a poetic description of the Temple on the east wall.
In the main hall, one can find the Museo Sefardí (Sephardic Museum), a small but excellent museum of Jewish culture in Spain. The Spanish museum was founded in 1971 and encompasses a wide array of Jewish art, ritual objects and tombstones with Hebrew epitaphs, many of them quite ancient. These artifacts are identified by labels written in Spanish.
History and time period
The former Synagogue was founded by Samuel Levi, in 1357. Samuel ha-Leví Abufalia was treasurer and adviser to King Pedro I of Castile. It is believed that Levi imported cedars from Lebanon for the construction of the Synogogue.
Following the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the Christian religious population occupied the building and added the bell tower. In the 18th century, it was a hermitage dedicated to the Tránsito de Nuestra Señora (Our Lady's Transit, meaning Mary's assumption into heaven), which accounts for its present name. The building became a national site and thereafter a museum, in 1977, during the war against Napoleon.
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10-2 and 4-6, Sun 10-2