This year marks the 525th anniversary of the expulsion of the more than twenty-five Jewish families who lived in Castelló in the 15th century. The lawyer Carmen Félix Roig reviews this historical epoch and highlights the “civism” and “respect” with which the Castellonians treated the Jewish people.
This year marks the 535th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews in Castelló where, unlike the rest of Spain, they were treated with “civism” and “respect”. The lawyer Carmen Félix Roig makes a tour of this historic stage of the city in which the Castellonians gave a “wonderful lesson.”
Castelló was constituted in aljama from 1306 under the jurisdiction of the justice, as much in civil as in criminal that was established between Jews and Christians. The Jewish quarter was settled on Calle Caballeros and Calle Mealla. The main tax was the “bribe” and had its own cemetery since 1320, located in what is now the Clavé square. “It seems that there is already a Jewish population since the descent of the population Castellon to the plain,” says the lawyer. Thus, in 1371, the Jews installed in Castelló own synagogue, houses, lands and practice the professions of weavers and albarderos. “Despite all its prerogatives, there were always frictions between the royal officials and the Jews,” says the lawyer.
In the summer of 1391 the persecutions against the Jews that began in Seville and that ran like the powder until the July 9 occurred the sacking of the Jewish Quarter of Valencia. However, Roig points out that in Castelló “there was no harm”. “The ‘jurats’ met on 14 July agreeing to defend the Jews in both their persons and their property. We must highlight the civility and respect of the Christian Castellans giving a wonderful lesson. Even so there were conversions and the aljama dissolved, but there were still Jews, “adds the lawyer.
In 1419, King Alfonso the Magnanimous absolved the Jewish aljamas and in their dominions and it exempts to them to dress and to carry badges Jewish by the ways not to be attacked. It also exempts them from dressing the “roda” in the cities “which was very humiliating” and protects them “from all possible abuses”. In addition, “the court of Castelló and the jurats are ordered to allocate a place as wide as possible so that the Jews may live and be able to form their aljama again.”
In 1432 the Jews of Castelló buy a house for the synagogue. Among their privileges they had their own butchery “since they could only eat the meat that the own slaughterer arranged, thereby paying an amount to the king for” fatigue. ” In Spain they had the privilege of collecting taxes by concession of certain municipalities and making loans with interest, “which was forbidden for Christians and Muslims, because it was considered immoral.” “This caused some animosity toward the Jews,” adds the lawyer.
On March 31, 1492, the General Edict of Expulsion was written by the Catholic Monarchs. “All the processes and debts are resolved and more than 25 Jewish families are expelled from Castelló, ending all the Jewish aljama of the city,” he concludes.