Spain: Lleida’s 14th-century Jewish community

How this relates to me?

Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog

Does the city Lleida or Lerida, in Catalunya ring a bell for Sephardic researchers?

There were two Jewish neighborhoods in the town – Cuirassa and Cuirassola – some 140km northwest of Barcelona.

The Lleida community was virtually destroyed in the 1391 riots, massacres and mass forced conversions; an attempt to reconstitute it years later never got very far.

There were Jewish communities in nearby villages as well – such as Alfés – which has numerous buildings with six-pointed symbols – una estrella de 6 puntes – above their entrance doors (see photos at left and below right). Some scholars and historians believe that these symbols were substituted for the six-pointed magen david.

In Converso communities elsewhere in the world – such as in New Mexico (according to Dr. Stanley Hordes and other historians), similar images are carved on gravestones.

Lleida’s archives, housed in the Cathedral, are a treasure trove…

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