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Sinagoga Major de Barcelona

Walking Tour in the Jewish Quarter
Walking Tour in the Jewish Quarter

General Information

The Sinagoga Major de Barcelona (Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona) is located in the Gothic Quarter, in the old city of Barcelona. It is the oldest synagogue of Spain and one of the oldest synagogues of Europe. It was built approximately in the 6th century. Between the 11th and 13th centuries it was the main synagogue of the Jews who lived in Barcelona (at that time four synagogues were operating in the city). This old building can be considered to be a memory of the significant Jewish community that existed once in the Catalan city.

After the massacre of the Jews of Barcelona, which took place in 1391, the Sinagoga Major was abandoned for several hundred years and it fulfilled different, unreligious, functions (it served mainly as a store, for additional information about the History of Barcelona). Due to this, people forgot about its original function, and only in the last years of the 20th century the fact that this ancient building was once an important synagogue was discovered. An evidence for that the building was a synagogue the two large windows on the construction’s east wall which faces Jerusalem).

Nowadays, the synagogue serves as a museum and a cultural center for the Jewish community of Barcelona. Religious events are also organized there. In 2003 the first wedding in the synagogue was held after more than 600 years.



What do you see in the Synagogue?

Actually, the structure of the Sinagoga Major de Barcelona did not remain in its original form. Visitors can admire an ancient Roman building with typical characteristics of roman public buildings (for example serial construction of stones alternating with bricks). This Roman construction served as base for later structures.

There are not too much archeological remains from the Jewish period. That is why we know just a few things about the synagogue. At the entrance of the building you can see the following inscription: “Hekdesh R’ Shmuel HaSardi”. In the past the street level was a little bit lower than today, so there will be a need to go down a stair to get to the synagogue.

The synagogue consists of two small rooms. In the first one you can admire some recently uncovered archaeological relics. The second one is actually the synagogue, there you can participate in a guided tour which presents the site and its history (the tour is available in English, Spanish and Hebrew, in weekends also in Catalan, French and Russian). There many glass cupboards full of Jewish objects such as the menorah and different holy books (for additional information – Jews in Barcelona).

Tips and Recommendations for Sinagoga Major de Barcelona




 

  • There are numerous nice restaurants and coffee shops next to the Sinagoga Major de Barcelona, for example: Restaurant La Locanda, Chocolateria Valor Barcelona and Maoz Falafel (for additional information – Bars and restaurants in Barcelona).
  • We recommend to arrive to the Sinagoga Major de Barcelona by metro. If you have a car or you rented one, it is better to leave it in another part of the city (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).

Tips for Attractions near Sinagoga Major de Barcelona:

Tips for Entering Sinagoga Major de Barcelona:

  • Recommended time of visit is about an hour, the synagogue is not a big site but presentation of the building requires a longer visit.
  • Due to different events which are closed to the public there can be modifications in the opening hours. It is recommended to check the official website prior to your visit.
  • Sinagoga Major de Barcelona is not such an active synagogue but rather a heritage site, so there are no regular prayers and religious ceremonies. If you would like to find an active synagogue where you can pray, we suggest to search the Jewish community building and / or the CHABAD House.

Tips for Hotels near Sinagoga Major de Barcelona:

Recommended Blogs and Articles About Sinagoga Major de Barcelona:

 

Useful Information

Getting there
directions_subway
Metro

L3 (green) – Liceu station.

L4 (orange) – Jaume I station.

directions_bus
Bus

No. 14 and 59.

Location

Carrer de Marlet’, 5
08002 Barcelona
Spain

Opening Times

Monday to Friday:
Apr. – Sep. – 10:30-18:30
Oct. – Mar. – 11:00-17:30
Saturdays and Sundays:
Apr. – Sep. – 10:30-14:30
Oct. – Mar. – 11:00-15:00

Official Website

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