Add a new dimension to your Mallorca travel plans with our Palma de Mallorca Jewish tour. Judaism once played an important role on the island of Mallorca. Our Jewish Palma tour reveals this history and offers insight into today’s revitalized Jewish community.
Our Jewish Palma de Mallorca tour begins in the Call Menor, which is the oldest Jewish quarter of Palma, dating back to the Muslim era of Mallorca. We continue through the narrow, twisting streets to the later medieval Jewish quarter, the Call Major. Here, we find remnants of synagogues, and signs of Jewish life in street names such as Calle Argentera, where the goldsmiths worked. We visit the park where the old Jewish cemetery once was, and walk the streets where the descendants of Mallorcan Jewry live to this very day. In the Museum of Mallorca, one can see two gravestones, the “ploms Jueus” which are considered to be the second oldest remains of the Jewish community in all of Spain.
For hundreds of years, Mallorca, the Sephardic island, was home to a sizable Jewish population dating back to the 5th century. Mallorca was an important center for cartography, where Jews played a pivotal role. The famed map-maker Jafuda Cresques, who, according to tradition, drew the maps used by Christopher Columbus, was recently honored with a statue in the Jewish quarter of Palma.
Repression during the 14th and 15th centuries led to forced conversions. These Crypto-Jews, publicly professing Catholicism while privately adhering to Judaism, remained true to their original faith across centuries. Private homes secretly adapted rooms to be used as makeshift synagogues. Called Xuetas by the Catholic locals, they lived in their own quarter, where signs of this secret community are still found today.
Times have changed and after many centuries some descendants of Jewish families have begun again to consider and embrace their heritage. One of these, Rabbi Nissan Ben-Avraham, born in Mallorca in 1957, was ordained as an orthodox rabbi in Israel in 1991, years after his reconversion. Today’s Jewish community was re-established in 1971.
Let us make your stay in Palma a unique experience. Come taste the flavor of the famous crespells, a Mallorcan Jewish pastry, and encounter dimensions of Mallorcan life you never before considered!
Palma is also one of our many port destinations. If you plan to come to your guided tour(s) by cruise ship, we would be more than happy to arrange for your transfer and arrival, for a perfect Palma de Mallorca shore excursion!