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The official webpage the region Extremadura
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Jewish heritage must be preserved:
Spanish Inquisition and its impact in Extremadura
The inquisition counts among the most awful crimes of the Catholic Church. Its impact can still be traced back in Extremadura today. In Llerena the site of a trial can be visited. The small museum of Garganta la Olla displays the instruments of torture used by the inquisitors. Hervas has reviewed the history of the Jews before the inquisition. In Caceres it is possible to go for a walk in the Jewish borough.
A young girl called Ines had a vision in 1500. She told that the Messiah would come down to earth and lead all converted Jews to the Promised Land: Palestine. The vision of the daughter of a shoemaker from Orterrera del Duque caused sensation, for converted Jews belonged to the group of people who were persecuted by the inquisitors, beginning at the end of the 15th century. At the behest of the Holy Father, bishops and clergymen had to examine during the questioning whether the conversos still adhered to their former beliefs. If this was the case, the defendants had to be condemned by the Holy Office. During the trials witnesses from the village were summoned to court in order to testify whether the accused person acted suspiciously or blasphemed against God. They also dealt with Ines in the same way. Dozens of witnesses were summoned to certify that they had heard of the visions. One of the inquisition tribunals was in Llerena located in the south-east of Zafra on the N 432 motorway. The inner courtyard belongs to the complex, consisting of a bishop´s palace and the church Nuestra Señora de la Granada in the old town.

The inquisitors tried to gruesomely prevent the belief in this apparition from gaining currency. Even by means of torture. Anyone who would like to experience how painful it was for the defendants just needs to go to the small place Garganta la Olla in the vicinity of the Vera valley in northern Extremadura. The small village is approximately one hour car drive from Plasencia. Visitors can inspect here an oubliette and various gruesome instruments that were used during the questionings.

Before Jewish people were banished from Spain or decimated by the Inquisition, they had peacefully cohabited with Christians for many centuries. Some communities in Extremadura have a long Jewish past. This includes Herva for instance, a small village at the border of Castilia, the home of 45 Jewish families. The community has since collected in old houses and churches any information about Jewish life and organised a very interesting exhibition. The most impressive experience is, with good background knowledge of the history of the place, you explore by walking through the Jewish borough and visiting the place where the synagogue and the assembly halls used to be.

A Jewish community is still living in Plasencia today. The old synagogue used to stand at the place where the Palacio Mirabel is now located, in the middle of the inner city. Local authorities of the former bishop town have recently begun to look for evidence of Jewish life under the earth’s surface. The discoveries of these excavations may be displayed to the public soon. The Jewish borough can also be visited in the province capital Caceres. The structure of the ancient Jewish borough San Antonio in the old town is still in good order. This was made possible thanks to the Jewish way of urban construction: dozens of small squares under sloping houses. The whitewashed houses of the Jewish borough contrast strongly with the city palaces of the wealthy nobility.
Things to do before you travel to Spain
Extremadura’s Highlights| Art, Culture and popular Feats | Need a little bit Nature' | Extremadura’s Past | Extremadura, a country of savourers
A gift from the Gods The ancient Roman world in Extremadura | DThe vultures of Salto del Gitano. Natural and National Parks in Extremadura | Slowing down one’s Life The Felicity of Pilgrimage on the Silver Way through Extremadura | Guadiana’s good Wines Extremadura’s Wines and Gastronomy | What happens in Merida and Caceres, stays in Merida and Caceres Feasts and Festivals in Extremadura | Speaking like an Extremenian Spanish Courses in Extremadura | Putting near an Oak Tree Golf Courses and Wellness Offers in Extremadura | Over Hill and Dale. Hiking and Cycling in Extremadura | Flying through the air Ornithology in Extremadura | On the Fishing Path Angling in Extremadura | Canoeing in the town Rivers, Extremadura’s living arms | Palaces and pilgrim hostels Accommodation facilities in Extremadura | Farmers and Saints Religious tradition in Extremadura | Pork deluxe. The Iberian Pork of Extremadura | Do you know a better place to visit' Caceres has applied to be Europe’s Capital of Culture. | More than a word Sustainability and sustainable policy in Extremadura | The same sun is shining over all of us The odd fate of the small village Granadilla | They just call it “the line” Historical facts about the borderland between Spain and Portugal | Wandering through the Passage of Life The last Way of Emperor Charles V | The true life of the sword bearers Orders of knights in Extremadura | Jewish heritage must be preserved: Spanish Inquisition and its impact in Extremadura | The right behaviour in time of crisis. Learning from the Tartessos of Cancho Roano | Blossomy Treasures. Orchids in Extremadura. | The Wonder of Almendralejo Travelling Extremadura along the “wine trail” | Still moving Cheese and Sheep from Extremadura | Facing the enemies Castle complexes in Extremadura | The Holy Place of GuadalupeThe Monastery of Guadalupe and the Miraculous Image of the Virgin Mary | The short Trial between Jesus and Pilate Museums in Extremadura | Straightforward across the steppe Motorbiking in Extremadura | Exhibition instead of Defence Extremadura’s Congress Centres in Badajoz and Merida Exploring Extremadura, Spain
Website by Extremadura’s tourist board (Junta de Extremadura)