Jewish heritage of Vitoria-Gasteiz

Today we tour around Vitoria. A city with a big Jewish population until the 15th Century when the Catholic Kings edict of expulsion made many of those to leave the city forever.

Many of them flew to Navarre the neighbouring Kingdom, and many went to Bayonne (Baiona), in nowadays French Basque Country.

But the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz before they left made an unusual treaty with their Jewish community (Aljama).

The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz received from local Aljama their Jewish Cemetery and the city assured that they were going to respect this sacred place.

This agreement was followed more than 500 years already, and nowadays is a quiet green area of the city, called Judimendi, or "mount of the jews" in Basque. No construction or farming has taken place in this place ever.

My Jewish heritage Basque tour take this in consideration and we go to this and other places of significance in the city of Vitoria.

Yaël Artsi, Israeli artist monument in Vitoria-Gasteiz
In 2004, the Israeli artist Yaël Artsi made a monument called "Coexistence" that be found in the same place where the old Jewish cemetery of Vitoria-Gasteiz was. 
On this monument you can read in Spanish, Basque and Hebrew:
"...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more..." Isaiah 2-4

וְכִתְּתוּ חַרְבוֹתָם לְאִתִּים, וַחֲנִיתוֹתֵיהֶם לְמַזְמֵרוֹת--לֹא-יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל-גּוֹי חֶרֶב, וְלֹא-יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה.

This agreement was made by the city hall and the Aljama representatives on 27th June 1492.

Do you want a private tour to discover Jewish heritage of Vitoria and the Basque Country with your local guide? I will be pleased to help you:

Please remember that you can get more information in the new website launched in December 2019.