Barcelona Skyline

Thursday, 19 August 2010

El Call: Jewish tradition in Barcelona

El call
, the old Jewish quarter, is right across the Ramblas from the hotel near the Plaça Sant Jaume. The narrow, winding streets and their ancient brooding buildings breathe the atmosphere of the Middle Ages like nowhere else in Barcelona.

Before the “Catholic Kings”, Ferdinand and Isabella, first persecuted them and then forced their conversion or expulsion in 1492, up to 15% of the residents of Barcelona were Jewish. So when we learned that “El Call, Wines & Books", a new shop dedicated to things Jewish was opening at Sant Honorat, 9, we gave it a visit. It was very interesting indeed.

They had a very diverse set of products, including various kosher wines (mostly Spanish), some religious items such as menorahs, and a wide selection of books dealing with, among other themes, Sephardic Jewish history in Spain.

In the neighbourhood there is also a recently discovered medieval synagogue which is open to the public. If you are really interested in the history of the Jews in Catalonia you can take a day trip by train to Girona where you can walk around an entire Jewish neighbourhood.

For more info just ask us at the reception.

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