Tours of Jewish Quarter & narrow Marlet street synagogue
are very popular.
The original Roman wall can still be seen in parts of
Barcelona. The city was very small until quite recently and now its all
only 200 years old.
But if you dig deep you’ll find some of Barcelona’s
If there’s a mountain called Montjuic where Jews were
buried, there must have been a Jewish quarter and there certainly must have
been a synagogue.
Documentation goes back to the eighth century.
Jews lived in what was referred to as the CALL from the
Hebrew word cahal to designate the communal meeting place –ie., the
to old synagogue
It is the oldest synagogue in Spain and in Europe. The
fact that it has been resurrected is in itself a miracle when you think of
how many years it was used for things other than religious services or
celebrations. It is extremely tiny and on a narrow alley in a warren of tiny
interwoven streets that betray its age. Here in the ancient center of
Barcelona on C/ Marlet, 5 what is left of a Jewish Catalonian house of
||Barcelona is the only city in
Catalonia that has an active Jewish congregation and almost every
day the tiny house of worship is visited by groups of foreigners on
a walking tour through the old Gothic District. These tours are
operated by the government by scholars and not by Jews.
The site dates back to the reign of Emperor Caracalla
around the 12th century. In the 13th century 15% of Barcelona’s population
were Jewish. That community witnessed a bloody day in 1391 when the quarter
or Call was attacked. The street name was changed and the building and all
the community possessions passed into the hands of the king.
Today one enters a long single room on Marlet Street.
Barcelona from Montjuic
At one side is a menorah and chairs and on the other is
the section that has been dug up to reveal the 15th century dying vats used
for fabrics in the years that followed. But there is something moving in
this subterranean room as we enter the tiny door with bowed heads to honor
the memory of a devastated community.
The orientation of the Roman Walls is to Israel and now,
centuries later, the rebirth of this sacred space allows the presence of
visitors to keep the tradition alive.
Apartments were built in the upper stories in the 17th
century which leaves the visitor standing in a tiny but holy place.
A Jewish walking Tour of Barcelona can be easily arranged
through the city Tourist office. This is only one of the many walking tours
you can take. The old city is a hodgepodge of narrow alley-ways. Moving
around by foot is the easiest and most rewarding.
Recuperation of the Sinagoga Major was started by
Associacio Call de Barcelona (Established in 1996)
Phone: 93 317 07 90
Tues.-Sat 11-2 PM and 4-7 PM
Sunday 11-2 PM
Metro Liceu (L3) and Jaume 1 (L4)
seniors on a Sunday stroll to meet friends.
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)