Barcelona, a photo a day

Kahal, El Call, la Sinagoga Mayor

Friday morning. The weekend starts in a few hours, and we will be off to Lourdes. Sabbath also starts today by sundown for some. Which makes it a very good day to show you one of Barcelona’s finest gems, the Sinagoga Mayor, also called Shlomo Ben Adret synagogue. Just happens to be one of the oldest in the world, parts of it dating back to the 3rd century, roman times. It is situated in El Call, the old Jewish quarter. The word Call comes from the Hebrew Kahal, community.

According to historians, there have been Jews in Spain since before the Diaspora, AD 70. In his Letter to the Romans, dated A.D. 54, St. Paul reveals his interest in coming to the Iberian Peninsula to preach .

This below was the Kotel Mizrah, the eastern wall, facing Jerusalem.

On August 5th, 1391, after an uprising in the Old Town, the Sinagoga Mayor and other Jewish property were confiscated by the King of the time. The Synagogue ceased to be, and was forgotten. It was found again in 1996.

Nowadays, you can visit it (2euros donation for the upkeep), and it is like traveling back in time.

Strangely enough, in the same street, literally 10 meters away, there is this sign saying that Saint Domingo de Guzman opened the first Barcelona convent of his Dominican order in 1219, in the building next door.

And Santa Eulalia, Barcelona’s holy patron, was martyred 2 streets away.

More information on the synagogue here.

Well, everybody, have a wonderful weekend, and a good shabbes!

14 responses

  1. Thank you for sharing about this ancient synagogue and the beautiful artifacts.


    June 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm

  2. What a beautiful old place,thanks for showing it to us.Hopefully I can return to Barcelona one day to see it myself.


    September 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  3. Al

    Great post, that's an amazing history. The city I live in isn't much over 100 years old.


    September 18, 2010 at 1:54 am

  4. What a great place it must be with something alike being possible. Please have a good weekend and safe road ahead.

    daily athens


    September 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

  5. VP

    Thank you for this wonderful reportage, a great story and some unique images… Bravo!


    September 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  6. The synagouge looks beautiful. You have inspired me to go to a synagogue in Delhi. I have never been to one. So I will make the trip soon.

    Thanks 🙂

    Happy weekend. Have a great time!


    September 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm

  7. Fascinating. . .esp. love the old stone.


    September 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

  8. JM

    What a fantastic place! Great post.


    September 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

  9. Excellent post, Rob. Thank you.


    September 17, 2010 at 11:14 am

  10. A labor of love, yes, both your post and the restoration–that is plain to see.


    September 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

  11. Bonjour dear Rob,
    Glad that you both have such a nice time there and thanks so much for sharing these pictures.I specially love the first picture and those tiles with fishes and doves,mainly the idea about peace!
    It's magnificent!
    Hugs and happy weekend,


    September 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

  12. Thanks Dina, it was a work of love.


    September 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

  13. Wow! What a terrific place!


    September 17, 2010 at 7:04 am

  14. A 3rd century synagogue in Barcelona, lost for 600 years, now so lovingly restored and open to all! Alive again. Your post literally makes my hair stand on end.
    And the Dominican neighbors that lived right next door!
    The Call de Barcelona website is fascinating. I'll be going back to read it more thoroughly soon.
    This all gives such hope and proves the fruit of interreligious cooperation. A great way to enter Yom Kippur and Shabbat tonight.
    Thank you, Rob, for the big work you have done here and for opening our eyes. Shabbat shalom and gmar chatima tova, may you be inscribed and sealed in God's Book of Life for the new year.


    September 17, 2010 at 6:59 am