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“Worth visiting, even if you know the history, & especially if you don't”

The Museum of Jewish History
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$765.95*
and up
Girona and Costa Brava Day Tour with Driver Guide
Ranked #5 of 85 things to do in Girona
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The main aim of the Museum is to preserve and reflect the history of the Jewish communities of Catalonia, which throughout the entire medieval period formed part of, and made a decisive contribution to, the history of the country and its cultural and scientific development. In most cases an attempt has been made to illustrate the explanations given during the visit to the Museum with examples of items originating from Girona's own Jewish history. These examples, which may be in documentary, archaeological or pictorial form, thus offer a general explanation of the pattern of Jewish life in medieval Catalonia.
suburban Boston, MA
Level 6 Contributor
264 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Worth visiting, even if you know the history, & especially if you don't”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This museum does a great job of explaining the life and history of the Jewish community in Spain. It is a very interesting visit, whether or not you are Jewish.

Girona is a beautiful and interesting place - and this is part of what contributes to the understanding of all of Girona's history.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

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Verdi, Nevada
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Makes the Jewish quarter understandable”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This museum really puts it all together after going through the Jewish Quarter in Girona. Brings some understanding to what you were looking at wandering through the cramped allies and climbing up and down the stairs.

Visited January 2013
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1 Thank David_Sal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Bit of a Scam, and Poorly Informed”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

I made a pilgrimage from Barca to see this museum and the Jewish quarter. The museum has NO items from the town or Spain in general- bc the Inquisition destroyed them all. They've made a grand museum containing relics from a zillion other countries, cheezy videos, copies and reproductions. The sole real things they have are gravestones, and one doorway tile with an empty hole where a mezuzah once was. I tried to be cool about this fact once I realized it- not the museum's fault that the Jews took their objects with them and Spain tried to remove all evidence of their presence.

But I was very angry when I got home from the day and did more research on the Jewish quarter and the museum and discovered that the museum was sitting on lots of discoveries! Apparently their back courtyard, of which I took several pictures of some mysterious holes in the ground, was actually the Jewish butcher shop in the area- no notice of this in the museum anywhere! I also took photos of what looked like an old room with janitor supplies in it. Looking online.. this is the local Doctor's home that they just discovered/excavated recently?! The room was dark and had janitor equipment in it. So in other words several of the real important things they have, they didn't share this information with visitors or do any scholarship about them. They just showed me basically fancy copies.

I also think there is no Jewish involvement in the place. I asked if they had lit any of the menorahs in their big menorah collection (from other parts of the world) this year, i.e. was their any Hanukkah celebration (i was there around that time of year), they seemed surprised and said no. Their shop was cheezy and kind of embarrassing. I found the museum more upsetting than enlightening, although I'm glad to have seen their collection of tombstones (some of which were recently being used as decorative elements in people's homes, like for fish pools etc).

Visited December 2012
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7 Thank TravelKBklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very interesting, such a forgotten piece of our history”
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Very interesting, such a forgotten piece of our history: Catalonia's hostory and Jewish hostory! I completely reccomend it!

Visited December 2011
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Thank MarinaBcN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, MA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“An Eye-opening Experience in Gerona”
Reviewed September 2, 2008

Discovered in the 1970’s, the Museo was located in the “Khal”, the Jewish neighborhood, and was the site of the yeshiva (place of learning) of Nachmanides, known in Catalan as Bonastruc ÇaPorta, a Chief Rabbi of Catalan and great Jewish Talmudist and kabalist who lived from 1194 -1270 and was banished by king James I of Aragon for his spirited and successful defense of Judaism during the “Disputation of Barcelona" in 1263. The site remained in Jewish hands but was blocked off and built over after the Expulsion of the Jews in 1492, after which time the historic memory of there ever being a Jewish neighborhood there was wiped out. The signs inside the Museo are in Spanish, Catalan, English and French, so it is accessible to many. We were fascinated to see the familiar rooms of Jewish life: A mikveh, a waiting room for the mikveh, and more. Startling was the room of “lapida” or gravestones, taken from the Jewish graves outside of Gerona, the etching in Hebrew now translated into 3 different languages. Of great interest to me were the models of how Jews lived and dressed in that time, including the badge that they were forced the wear outside of their neighborhood, indicating they were Jews, a heavy reminder of Nazi strategy. Another room highlights the mathematicians and scientists who arose out of the community. The museum boasts a wonderful bookstore, selling books in Spanish, English, Catalan, and French, and even kosher wine from Spain! The museum should be visited by all who thought that Jewish life in Spain either didn’t exist, or who thought that it existed solely in southern Spain, the Cordoba, Malaga and Sevilla areas. The museum shows that Jews were an important and contributing part of Catalan culture and is a must-see.

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17 Thank JaneBoSox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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