Private Jewish Majorca Discovery
The island of Mallorca was home for hundreds of years to a thriving Jewish community where Jews played a pivotal role in cartography before having to go underground with the rise of the Spanish Inquisition in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many Jews faced forced conversions, becoming Crypto-Jews or Chuetas, who displayed their Catholic face outwardly while adhering to their Jewish faith through secret signs and hidden synagogues in their homes.
Arrive at the city centre in Palma and begin your experience at the Call Major, or entry point of the Jewish Quarter. This neighborhood is home to remnants of ancient synagogues and a statue of the famous 14th century Jewish cartographer Jafuda Cresques who was one of the first to complete a world atlas and aid Christopher Columbus in his travels.
Walk through the narrow, winding streets with signs of this secret community including centuries-old, family owned jewelry shops and ensaimada, a famous Mallorcan pastry cooked with pork fat as a reaction to centuries-old prejudice and discrimination. Discover how the Inquisition forced conversions and limited the Jews to specific streets to live and work in until as recently as the 1960s. While here you will learn the meaning behind the name of the street Caterina Tarongi, named after one of the 3 martyrs who were burned alive after trying to escape the island on an English ship in 1691.
Your tour will take you to the Jewish History Museum of Palma, the Jewish Quarter Gate, and the site of the old synagogue where the Montesion Church now stands. You will also see the secret synagogue on Leather Maker Street, stop at a Jewish bakery, and visit the house of a medieval Jewish merchant to learn the secret traditions the Jews created to keep their faith close.
Take a break for lunch at S'Escorxador Food Court (for purchase) and dine in what used to be a kosher market in medieval times. Afterward, head to a nearby pita factory before entering the active synagogue that the current Jewish community uses as a worship and community center. Conclude your tour at the Plaza Gomila to visit the memorial erected on the grounds where more than 37 Chuetas were murdered during the Inquisition.
Throughout the tour you will be accompanied by local guides who are members of the current Jewish community and happy to answer any questions you may have. They will also share with you just where to find the best falafel in town! Snacks and beverages are also provided along the way for your refreshment. This 9 hour private tour is a must-do for history buffs and those with ties to Judaism. Sign up today.