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Callejón de los Judios


Sant Mateu

A fragment of a medieval road restored in 1992 whose origin traces back to the 14th Century. It formed part of the Jewry or Aljama de Sant Mateu.

It involves, it seems, a fragment of a stretch of long road that reached the zuda of Sant Mateu, the oldest part of the town. Other fragments of the same road are today known as calle Gallies and calle Palpacuixes.

It includes the only architectural example surviving to this day from the Hebrew community or the Jewish Aljama de Sant Mateu.

The Jewish Alley separates the Borrull Mansion or L’Audiéncia from the Cort Nova Palace or the Town Council. It is a frequent occurrence between two stately Valencian homes of the Gothic era, being separated by narrow alleyways.

It is a typical example of the urban organization related with the presence of Jewish aljamas. The Jews were required to live in a determined quarter - in the Kingdom of Valencia, Jewries in Catalonia and Mallorca were in general close to the urban center, public buildings and more important governments. Sometimes, for security, the quarter would have closing doors.

The Jewish Aljamas would belong to the king, they were his property and they would pay him different taxes. They would possess their own self-governing bodies: the council, the rabbinic tribunal, pious guilds, schools, synagogue, cemetery, butchers and public officials.

With regard to the activities of the Jews, it is necessary to avoid falling into the cliché. Their activities were related with what we currently know as the second sector and services. Craft and the trade of agricultural, livestock and textile products however, nor did they lack doctors, purchasing and sales agents and moneylenders.

The Jewish Alley was restored in 1992, passing from being walled, full of debris and with an embarrassing appearance to its current look. The works carried out consisted of the demolition of remaining buildings, cleaning, removing old mortar, sanitizing and plastering the walls and flooring.

 


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