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The Jewish quarter of León

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The Jewish quarter of León


Basic Information

Location Leon, Spain
Country Spain
City Leon
Address Leon, Spain

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 42.5962,-5.5668


In 1196 Puente Castro was flattened and its aljama moved to León, delimited by the current Plaza Mayor (Main Square), Santa Ana and Grano. This spot saw the settlement of the majority of the Jewish community during the 13th to the 15th centuries. The densest nucleus was concentrated on the current streets of Juan de Arfe, St. Martín´s Square, Mulhacín, Cuesta Castañón and Santa Cruz. The synagogue was situated in the current Misericordia Street which was the backbone of the district.

The original names of the streets of the Jewish quarter, Cal de Moros, Cal Silvana etc. were replaced centuries ago with Misericordia, Santa Cruz etc. At present, the traces of the Jewish presence in León are being recovered: the remains of medieval constructions in the old aljama, wineries, courtyards and passageways. The Jews of León carried out the most varied professional activities under the protection of the Charter of León (1017-1020) which granted very similar rights to Jews and Christians.

However, as from the 15th century, various ordinances were decreed limiting the rights of the Jewish people. This included the ruling by the Courts of Toledo which in 1480 required the strict separation of the Jewish and Christian communities. This all led to a gradual fall in the Jewish population of León. In 1492 the Catholic Monarchs signed the decree of expulsion of the Jews, bringing to an end centuries of cohabitation. May decided to convert, but for a long time they felt threatened as they were suspected of judaizing.

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