By Sarah Keane • 28 February 2021 • 13:34
Andalucía Bar Could Be One Of Spain’s Lost Medieval Synagogues
Image Credit: Wikipedia
ANDALUCIA bar could be one of Spain’s lost medieval synagogues, having endured for centuries
An exciting project is about to get under in the historic Andalucían city of Utrera, where archaeologists believe they just may have discovered an ancient Jewish worshipping place hidden in, of all things, a pub. The potentially historic building, located down a sleepy side alley and now covered in moss, has endured many incarnations over the year; it started out as a hospital and has since been a children’s home, restaurant and most recently, a pub. In fact, the crumbling inside still sports the garish oranges and purples the last owner decorated it with.
The Jewish community was driven out in 1492 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, but historian and author Rodrigo Caro wrote in his 1604 History of Utrera that the very site was once home to one of Spain’s largest synagogues.
“In that place, there were only foreign and Jewish people … who had their synagogue where the Hospital de la Misericordia now stands.”
The building itself isn’t in great shape, having stood empty for nearly 20 years before the City Council bought it in 2018, but if archaeologists find what they are hoping for, it will prove to be one of the only surviving medieval synagogues in the country.
“That’s the first mention we have,” said Miguel Ángel de Dios, one of the archaeologists working on the project, referring to Caro’s book.
“Luckily, the building has survived over the years – basically because it’s always been in use – even as a bar. It’s quite weird to walk into the building and see it painted like a pub. It’s very colourful and makes quite an impression. But that’s exactly why it’s survived.”
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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