September 18, 2008

A Temple...

This is considered to be the oldest temple in all of Europe and it has a very interesting story which I learned upon arriving and getting the 7 minute abridged version from the man who runs the place. It is in the Assocacio Call de Barcelona area of the Barrí Gotic (if I remember correctly, "call" just means really narrow because that's what the streets around there were like). The temple was said to have been built in the third century and then closed down when the Black Plague struck Barcelona. At the time, about 25% of the population was Jewish and after the Plague almost all had been killed because those in the city had believed that the Jews had caused this. Much later in history one of the families who had survived after the Plague reclaimed ownership of the structure and then, yet again later on, were exterminated and the building became nothing for years and years and years. It wasn’t until 2002 that it was rediscovered, cleaned up, figured out that it was indeed a temple, and reopened to the public as more of a museum than a place of worship (though the man giving the “tour” said that they just had a wedding there a couple of weeks ago). What I found most interesting was that the reason they figured out that it was a temple and not just a normal shop or apartment was that the wall that lines the street was built out at an angle so it faced southeast; to Jerusalem.

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