Lorca, Luces de Sefarad: A Unique Archaeological Exhibit
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What is unusual about the remains of the 14th century synagogue that was discovered in Lorca, Murcia?
Lorca is a small city in Murcia, in southeastern Spain. Archaeological excavations have revealed that it has been inhabited for more than 5500 years, and in the Middle Ages it was the frontier town between Christian and Muslim Spain. Its medieval fortress, constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries, stands on a hill overlooking the city. This is precisely where the remains of the medieval Jewish quarter were discovered, when excavation was begun in preparation for the construction of a Parador hotel. Aside from the synagogue and houses, valuable artifacts were found, including 2600 glass fragments which were painstakingly reconstructed by experts and turned out to be unique glass Hanukkah lamps and vessels.
The exhibition “Luces de Sefarad”, which can be visited at Centro Sefarad-Israel in Madrid through May 31, contains many of these glass pieces, as well as ceramics, metal artifacts, documents and architectural elements such as arches and decorative plasterwork that were found in the synagogue. The exhibit also includes an audiovisual presentation. All the written explanations are in both Spanish and English.
The exhibition is a unique opportunity to see extremely rare Jewish artifacts, and learn about a medieval community whose existence was only recently revealed. I highly recommend it.
Sandra Martínez Navarro, Lorca’s city councillor in charge of culture, spoke with us about the history of the Jews in that city, and the exhibition.
Palacio de Cañete (Calle Mayor, 69)
Monday-Thursday 10:30 – 2:30 and 3:30 – 8:00; Friday 10:30 – 2:30
Until May 31