When visiting Spain, do not miss a chance to explore the rich Jewish heritage of Girona on our private Jewish tour. Located between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean sea, Girona once had the most important Jewish community in the area and was considered in the 12th century as one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in Europe.
Girona boasts one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in Europe, and if you loved Prague, you have to come here! The reconstruction of the Jewish heritage brought not only a mikvah but also many tombstones and other relicts, some of which were from Montjuïc (hill of the Jews in medieval Catalan) on the Northern side of the city where an important religious cemetery had been located.
One of the most prominent members of one of the ‘Calls’ was Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi, better known as Nahmanides, Ramban or the Rabbi of Girona. His Halachiv works rank among the masterpieces of rabbinic literature. Philosopher, kabbalist, exegete, poet and physician, his name was given to the “Institut d´Estudis Nahmanides, library, book shop and lecture room.
The unique collection of tombstones which was collected in the monastery of St. Pere de Galligants has been moved to the small Jewish museum. This museum awaits you with a permanent exhibition about the history of the Jews of Catalonia. The main themes of the exhibition are Community life, festivals and traditions, and the Life Cycle, but the museum also includes the cultural heritage, co-existence and Jewish Converts. The most amazing item on the display is Nahmanides` Torat ha-Adam. This copy, donated by Rabbi M. Serels, was printed in 1595 in Venice.
Spain, like other countries in Europe is slowly coming to terms with its past and Girona is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when at least a couple of responsible people show the dedication. Through the efforts of committed individuals, an outstanding work in terms of preservation and reconstruction has been done, and contributes to the knowledge and appreciation of the importance of the Jewish contribution to the city.
Not only will our private Jewish tour provide you with an in-depth information about Girona, but you will also have an opportunity to extend the tour and visit Besalu as well and explore its Jewish heritage. This picturesque medieval town is located only a few kilometres away. Besalú has been a strategic site since the times of the Celts and Iberians with signs of inhabitation since the 6th century BC. One of the towns striking landmarks is the 12th century Romanesque Bridge over the Fluvia River. While strolling through the arcaded streets and squares, you will discover the restored Mikveh from the 12th century, and the remains of a medieval synagogue, closed in the 13th century.
The Jewish community of Besalú underwent major growth until the mid-14th century and the population of the Jewish quarter was estimated at around 300 people. It was a well-structured community with privileges similar to those of the Jews of Girona. Those who appreciate a close connection to the past will enjoy a visit to the houses that still have traces of medieval mesusot.
Explore Jewish Girona, learn about Ramban and the city of a thousand sieges on our private Jewish tour.