Synagogue of El Transito

Toledo, Spain

The Synagogue of El Transito is famous for its rich stucco decoration, which bears comparison with the Alcazar of Seville and the Alhambra palaces in Granada. It was founded as a synagogue by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to Peter of Castile, in about 1356. The founder was a member of a family that had served the Castilian kings for several generations and included kabbalists and Torah scholars such as Meir and Todros Abulafia, and another Todros Abulafia who was one of the last poets to write in the Arab-influenced style favored by Jewish poets in twelfth and thirteenth-century Spain.

King Peter probably gave his assent to the building of the synagogue to compensate the Jews of Toledo for destruction that had occurred in 1348, during anti-Jewish riots that accompanied the arrival of the Black Death in Toledo. The founder eventually fell foul of the king and was executed in 1360. The synagogue was converted to a church after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The building, which is in a good state of conservation for its age, is currently a museum.

After the expulsion of the city's Jews under the Alhambra decree in 1492, the Synagogue came under the Order of Calatrava, who converted the building into a church serving a priory dedicated to Saint Benedict.

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Details

Founded: c. 1356
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Roberto Boada (2 months ago)
The Synagogue and the Sephardic Museum are highly recommended. There are no audioguides available, but it is easy to download the App and there are lots of information panels in Spanish and English. PDFs can be downloaded in other languages.
Abraham Crevillén Hernández (3 months ago)
Beautiful place, now a museum for the sefardí people (Jews that lived in Spain)
Jay Saman (15 months ago)
Great piece of history, free admission You can see the history of Jewish existence in Spain during the moorish rule. I wish that they keep it as Synagogue and not putting the bell and cross above the roof, just to keep the original Synagogue as is
Quick Review (20 months ago)
It's a very nice synagogue museum that shows the history of the Jews that used to be in that area, if you are a student bring your student ID to get in for free.
Michele Joy (2 years ago)
The Synagogue was both lovely and interesting. There is a free audio guide you can access on your phone which makes the visit that more informative. The hall of worship is spectacular, both in terms of architecture and decorations. The other rooms and gardens you visit serve more as museum and an opportunity to learn about the Jewish history and culture in Spain. Each room also has a place where you can find a detailed explanation of the room and it's contents in at least 5 languages if you want more information. The visit takes about one hour if you read everything (which I did). There are also interesting archeological remains and a nice restroom. I highly recommend the visit.
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