Toledo’s Jewish community-educated, wealthy, and cosmopolitan-thrived from the city’s earliest times. Jews of Spanish origin are called Sephardic Jews.
There were 11 synagogues in Toledo. Today only two of them remain and can be visited, the rest of them was destroyed.
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.
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.
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)
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)