Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.
Santa Maria La Blanca Toledo Spain
Santa Maria La Blanca is a remarkable fusion of Jewish, Islamic, and Catholic elements in one sacred space.
According to Wikipedia: “Santa María la Blanca (literally Saint Mary the White, originally known as the Ibn Shushan Synagogue, or commonly ‘The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo’) is a museum and former synagogue in Toledo, Spain.”
“Erected in 1180, it is disputably considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church and has recently gone through a full marble stone restoration.”
“Erected in 1180, it is disputably considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church.”
“The synagogue is a Mudéjar construction, created by Moorish architects on Christian soil for non-Islamic purposes. But it can also be considered one of the finest example of Almohad architecture because of its construction elements and style.”
“The focal point of the synagogue is the clam-shell topped arch at the center of the building. This was the location of the Torah Ark. In many synagogues found throughout the Jewish Diaspora and what is now Israel, the clam shell is a marker for the place where the ark should be placed.”
“It became a church in 1405 or 1411, but no major reforms were done for the change. It took then the name of Santa María la Blanca (Saint Mary, the White), and today it is known by this name.”
This place is living testament to how people can actually get along well with each other – and that yes, it is possible to coexist regardless of differences.
There was also an ongoing exhibition in the Synagogue’s garden.