Palma audio tour: The Secrets of Palma's Medieval Jewish Quarter

The Secrets of Palma's Medieval Jewish Quarter

Walking Tour

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35 mins
|
0.9mi

About the Tour

Whether this is your first time in Palma’s old town or you’re familiar with its maze of medieval streets, there’s plenty to discover on this walking tour. I’ve been studying the history of Mallorca’s Converso and Chueta (Xueta) communities since I arrived here in 2014 and I have so many secrets and hidden surprises to share. What do the words Converso and Chueta mean, for a start? Join me for a guided walk through this area to find out.

Together we’ll explore the legacy of this Mediterranean island’s dark history. It’ll lead us through the twists and turns of narrow alleyways to all sorts of architectural gems. You’ll meet famous mapmakers, figure out how to decipher street names, and peer into Palma’s famously elegant courtyards, which are easily missed. If anyone ever told you that history is boring, they’ve never studied the history of the city’s Jewish Quarter!

On this tour, you'll hear about:

• Secret synagogues
• The 1391 Massacre
• Forced conversions
• The fifteen Chueta family names
• Surviving the Black Plague
• The scandalous Tower of Love
• Hidden Hebrew letters
• The Church of Mount Zion
• Crypto-Jewish traditions
• Where the word “abracadabra” comes from

New discoveries with clues to the island’s traumatic past are still being made today. But the Inquisition left its mark in more than just stone – and in the medieval Jewish Quarter, you’ll find out about members of Mallorquin society who were marginalized up until the middle of the 1900s because they had specific last names.

Don’t miss your chance to learn about a unique chapter from both the history of Mallorca and Judaism.

Juan Antonio Caldes Rodriguez wrote the script for this tour. His invaluable input and dedication enabled this wonderful tour to come to fruition. Thank you Juan!

Tour Producer

avatar

Dani Rotstein

Dani Rotstein moved from New Jersey to the Balearic island of Mallorca in Spain in 2014. He quickly learned of the taboo history of the Conversos and their descendants, the Chuetas of the island. In 2018, he founded Limud Mallorca and has run over 50 successful events promoting diversity and inclusion in the small, yet growing, Jewish community.

Major Landmarks

  • Gate of the Jews

  • Statute of Jafuda ben Cresques

  • Secret Synagogue

  • Tower of Love

  • Church of Mont Zion

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts outside of the Center Maimo ben Faraig – Palma’s Jewish Quarters Interpretation Center located at Carrer de l’Amudaina, number 9. Its entrance is located to the right of the entrance of Can Bordils and to the left of the Roman archway. It has a small golden sign to the left of the door written in the Mallorquin language.

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Café la Juventud
Santa Clara Bakery
Café Ca’n Salat
Abracadabra Bar
Café Moderno (at the end of the tour)

Best time of day

At anytime of the day! In summer and if is very hot, it is better to do it in the late afternoon when there are less people in the streets and the heat decreases.

Precautions

Just bring comfortable shoes to walk, a bottle of water and lots of energy to submerge yourself in the Jewish, Converso, and Chueta history of the island.

Comments

Super interesting tour! I am so happy it was available on the app. I am Sephardic and my family originates from Spain so this was very insightful and helpful to understand our Jewish history. Definitely recommend this tour! Now I see Mallorca in a whole new way and I’m impressed at how the narrator has taken the lead on keeping the history alive. Thank you!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 2 months ago
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The Secrets of Palma's Medieval Jewish Quarter