New steps for recovery of medieval Synagogue and Jewish Quarter in Híjar, Spain

Híjar medieval synagogue. Image: Foundation for Jewish Heritage
Híjar medieval synagogue. Image: Foundation for Jewish Heritage

The municipality of Híjar and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage have been collaborating on an ambitious recovery project for the medieval Synagogue and Jewish Quarter of Híjar since 2018. Now there’s a lot more money for the project, thanks to funds from the European Union.

The Foundation for Jewish Heritage helped the synagogue apply for the Europa Nostra ‘7 most endangered sites of Europe’ award, for which it was shortlisted. Fortunately, the municipality has been granted significant funding for reviving and restoring the area of the town where the synagogue is. Half a million euros from EU Funds have been allocated to Híjar by the regional government.

Luis Carlos Marquesán, mayor of Híjar said: “We have a very clear goal: this is the restoration of the judería area, and we go step by step. We needed support and this is it: with 500,000 euros we can plan more ambitious actions”.

These funds will be specifically used to restore houses and improve the infrastructure of the
Jewish Quarter (Barrio de San Antón). This is a crucial part of the overall project that centres around the historic synagogue and ties into the roadmap prepared by the Foundation. The ambitious project covers several areas such as heritage recovery, educational programmes, and tourism development. There is also a proposed future cultural heritage centre about the Jews from Híjar and the Sephardic legacy.

Image: Foundation for Jewish Heritage

Michael Mail, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage stated: ‘there are very few synagogues that survived from the medieval period which makes Hijar’s synagogue, with its unique wall murals, all the more remarkable. We applaud the mayor’s exciting vision for the future use of the building and are delighted to be playing a role in developing the project.

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