JEWISH LLEIDA TOUR HALF DAY
Tour Duration: 5 Hours
Max. Nº People: 9 People
Tour Type: Transport Based
Tour Price: Please ask for an updated price
Tour Inclusions: A great private tour for 5 hours and skipping the waiting lines in the sites.
Tour Exclusions: Transportation and entrance fees are not included in the tour price. As transportation system we use the bullet train.
An hour train ride away from Barcelona, Lleida boasts two gems that are unique in the Continent: the impressive monumental Gothic cloister of its old cathedral and the almost unknown 9th/10th century Mikva, the oldest to be found in continental Europe.
Read more about the Jewish Lleida Tour Half day
Hidden in the basement of the City Hall and located in the Museu de la Paeria we’ll find some most important archeological remains dated between the 9th and 10th centuries: Europe’s second oldest ritual Jewish baths -being the oldest in Siracusa, Sicily- and therefore Europe’s oldest Mikva on continental soil. Already back in 1989 prominent professor David Romano made this acknowledgement clear.
A simple glance at other examples of medieval Jewish baths, such as the Mikva in Montpellier/France, in Worms/Germany or that in Besalú/Catalonia will allow us to verify the surprising similarity, almost identical in the case of Worms. Other experts in the field of Jewish culture found a certain parallelism with one of the two Mikvaot located in Massada, Israel. This huge, monumental pool had capacity to allow the total immersion of two dozen human bodies. The origin of its water supply was due to filtrations of the Segre river -through its irrigation channel, the Sèquia d’Alcarràs, fed by the river-, which used to run next to the building until relatively recent times.
The local family name of the original palace owners in the early 12 hundreds, Sanaüja, was later also given to the Call Menor -Lesser Jewish Quarter- in Barcelona in the early 13 hundreds: Call d’en Sanaüja, which happened to be the same popular name given in the late 12 hundreds to the Old Jewish quarter in Cervera, another major town situated in the middle point of the 100 miles old road linking Barcelona and Lleida.
The old deconsecrated medieval cathedral -Seu Vella- located on top of the hill in the core of the city, is a unique architectural masterpiece that combines both Romanesque and Gothic structures in a massive scale, especially its unique monumental panoramic Gothic cloister, overlooking the whole Segrià County’s impressive flat landscape, some 30 miles away. A spectacle given by its large, most ornate filigrane windows, one of them showing a huge one meter wide Jewish star.
On the way back from the Seu Vella you’ll walk by the former 4 acre large medieval Cuirassa or Jewish Quarter -recently demolished, although one acre of it has just been excavated. Among the very few remains left there’s the ruins of a wealthy family’s mansion burnt down by the christians in 1391. Experts’s excavation works have shown pieces of carbonised tissue -evidence of the riot- the pavement of its inner patio and significant vestiges from the time of the Moslem occupation of Lleida, contemporary to the city hall’s Mikwa.