Sinagoga de Santa Maria La Blanca

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Calle de los Reyes Católicos 4, Toledo, Spain

Sinagoga de Santa Maria La Blanca Toledo Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
Cross-Culturalism in the Mudejar Era Sep 29, 2013
The Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca is a fascinating example of peaceful coexistence in the Middle Ages. The synagogue was constructed ca.1180-1205 under the Christian Kingdom of Castile by Islamic architects for the use of their Jewish neighbors. Originally the Ibn Shushan Synagogue, or commonly "The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo'". It was a symbol of religious cooperation, though the building became a Catholic church in the 15th century. (The church took the name Santa María la Blanca.) By the 18th century it had devolved into a barracks and storehouse.

The synagogue/church has been restored to show both sides of its heritage. The nave is divided into five aisles by four rows of columns. The horseshoe columns are typical of Mudéjar (Iberian Islamic) design. Islamic scrollwork forms the capitals of the columns and continues in the architrave. Three Plateresque style apses were later added on conversion to a church. The exterior is fitted with wood paneling.

A really interesting example of diverse communities living side by side and helping one another. Much can be learned here.

Admission is 2.50 Euros.
Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca…
Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca…
Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca…
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Andy99 says:
@Brian. Yes, I really get into the building descriptions. Comes from reading many National Register of Historic Places site inventories. :) In the case of describing Santa Maria la Blanca, architrave refers to the area above four the rows of interior columns and supported by them. There are three apses that were created when the synagogue was converted to a church. One, in the center aisle, formed the main altar. Two others, at the right and left, formed chapels. I photographed the center and left apses. The right was obscured by scaffolding.
Posted on: Jan 02, 2014
spocklogic says:
Wow, quite the use of architectural terminology and I learned something here I think. May I elaborate?

architrave - meaning "main beam" along top of the capitals of columns, but can also refer in general to moldings of various types in windows, doors or other rectangular openings

plateresque - meaning "in the manner of a silversmith", and refers to a Spanish architecture style originating in the late Gothic and early Renaissance characterized by ornate facades of varied and/or unusual design resembling intricate relief work as done on silver plates.

apses - meaning "arch vault" referring to a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome
Posted on: Jan 01, 2014
rsvpme says:
Great review......I would love to photograph!
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013
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