Barcelona El Call - Medieval Barcelona Jewish Quarter Popular

Placeta de Manuel Ribé, 3, 08001, Barcelona
Nearest Metro
Jaume I L4
City District
Ciutat Vella: El Gòtic
+34 932562100
Barcelona El Call - Medieval Barcelona Jewish Quarter
MUHBA El Call Jewish Museum Barcelona. The Medieval Barcelona Jewish Quarter. For tours and more information visit the interpretation center in the old Jewish quarter of Barcelona. Map link El Call area. The headquarters of the Barcelona History Museum in El Call, inaugurated in March 2015, is located at the heart of the old Jewish quarter, where the house of Jucef Bonhiac, a former veil weaver, was located. It is a building of medieval origin where original remains from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries are preserved.

The interpretation center is called "El Centre d'Interpretació del Call" and is housed in a 14th-century building known as the "House of the Rabbi" or Alchemist. This is one of the few buildings in the former Jewish medieval area with original period features intact.

The first documented existence of a Jewish neighborhood in the city of Barcelona dates back to the eleventh century. However, it is known that there were Jews in Barcelona two centuries earlier. The Jewish community had a major role and contributed to the commercial expansion of the city. They had their own institutions and were not subject to municipal authorities, but referred directly to the king.

El Call is the name of the old Jewish settlement in Barcelona which was in the northeast part of the old Roman city of Barcino in the 12th to 14th century. However very little of the original quarter remains. The name "call" means "narrow street" or "lane" and was used for all the narrow streets in the two "call" areas called Call Major and Call Menor.

The Call Major was inside the old Barcelona Roman city walls . The Call Minor was outside the Roman walls. The call was an enclosed area, but the Jewish residents also had houses and busines outside the call, as well as properties and farmland outside Barcelona and house and a Jewish cemetary on Montjuic hill which still bears the name "Montjuic" meaning "Mount of the Jews."

In the early thirteenth century, the population of the "Call" had grown and the neighbourhood was too small, so another area was designated this time outside the walled city, known as the Call Menor. This consisted of five blocks of houses, a plaza and a synagogue. The synagogue was since converted into a church and convent and the square no longer exists. Very litte remains of the buildings.

Relations between the Christian and Jewish community in Barcelona were initially good. They owned businesses together and count-kings entrusted Jews with public positions of great prominence. In 1215 several measures were taken to curb Jewish commercial activity, including control of loans, no prominent positions with authority over Christians and Jews were obliged to wear badges, etc.. coexistence deteriorated until 1391, when the Jewish quarter was attacked and 300 inhabitants were killed.

After that Barcelona would never have a specifically Jewish neighbourhood again. The King authorised the use of stones from the old Jewish cementary on the hill Montjuïc for building of tenements in Barcelona. You can still see stones with Hebrew inscriptions on various buildings in Barcelona, for example on the facade of buildings on Plaça de Sant lu and Plaça del Rei.

Streets in the Jewish Call to visit

Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Ramon del Call
Carrer de Sant Domènec
Carrer de Sant Sever
Baixada de Santa Eulàlia

Ticket prices
Standard ticket: 2 €

Opening times
Wednesdays: 11.00 to 14.00
Saturdays and Sundays: 11.00 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 19.00

Related pages.
Barcelona pogrom 1391