Spain-Morocco 2015

Jewish Toledo

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Toledo’s Jewish community-educated, wealthy, and cosmopolitan-thrived from the city’s earliest times. Jews of Spanish origin are called Sephardic Jews.

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There were 11 synagogues in Toledo. Today only two of them remain and can be visited, the rest of them was destroyed.

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We visited Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca. As you can easily guess the only reason why this sinagogue was not destroyed was because it was turned into church.

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It is a vivid reminder of the religious cultures that shared and later did not share this city. While it looks like a mosque, it never was one.

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Built as a Jewish synagogue by Muslim workers around 1200, it became a church in 1492 when Toledo’s Jews were required to convert or leave. Newly renovated this synagogue is beautiful in its simplicity. (Rick Steves)

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To end this post, here are some thoughts about the Spanish Golden Age:

Spanish Golden Age: Thanks in part to Inca gold, Spain entered what historians typically call her Golden Age. The age was golden in one obvious respect, as precious metals lifted from New World colonies gilded Spain’s altars and financed her European conflicts. Yet, in other respects, the Golden Age label is at a minimum incomplete. For this was at least the third Golden Age Spain had enjoyed. Spain’s Islamic Golden Age had blessed Europe with new models of architecture, mathematics, ceramics, agriculture, philosophy, medicine, and astronomy, to name a few disciplines among many. Spain’s Jewish Golden Age had nurtured Europe’s most prosperous, accomplished, and largest Jewish population, and through Maimonides and Moses de Leon bequeathed masterworks that still fundamentally influence Jewish thought and worship. (Chris Lowney)

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Christian Toledo

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Our walking tour in Madrid

4 Comments

  1. Basia
    July 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm — Reply

    Really interesting to read about all the influences of all the religions. Such a turbulent history.

  2. Rosalie
    July 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    Joanna, It was a pleasure travelling with you to Morocco and Spain these past few weeks. Thank you for immortalizing our unforgettable experiences in such a beautiful manner. Wish you all the best in your travels, my friend :)

    • July 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm — Reply

      Thank you Rosalie for your warm comment. Enjoy the rest of the summer and don’t forget to check the blog. There will always be something new on it until August 23rd. Say hello to your daughters who also wrote very nice comments. All the best!

  3. Karen
    July 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    Joanna it was a pleasure savouring our trip again through your inventive and creative blog.Now that we’re half a world away we can better understand the influence and interaction of Muslims Christians and Jews through our shared eyes and your careful recap of each day.Family and friends were able to journey with us and connect to a wider heritage. It’s beautiful !!
    Thank you

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