August 3rd passes largely unnoticed in Barcelona, though down in Huelva Province it’s the last day of a week long festival. It was from there that Columbus set out on August 3, 1492, on his first voyage in search of the Indies. That was a good day or a bad one, depending on your perspective.
In the history of Barcelona, August 5th – today – is a terrible day about which nothing good can be said. It too, goes by unnoticed here, and with good reason. Six centuries ago, on the heels of a violent pogrom that destroyed the entire Jewish community of Seville, Christian mobs took to the streets and wrought the same havoc on the Jewish quarter of Barcelona, that at its peak was home to the largest single Jewish population of the Middle Ages: 4,000 Jews – fifteen percent of the city’s population. Continue reading