"The Synagogue" Top 5 Page for this destination Bayonne Things to Do Tip by mikey_e

Bayonne Things to Do: 35 reviews and 81 photos

  The Synagogue
by mikey_e
  • The Synagogue - Bayonne
      The Synagogue
    by mikey_e
  • Rodrigues and Salazar's hospice - Bayonne
      Rodrigues and Salazar's hospice
    by mikey_e

The Synagogue of Bayonne is not a tourist attraction, and thus it is not officially open to the public. Nevertheless, Jews played a very important role in the city's history, and so it would be mistaken not to include it somehow in a review of the city's attractions. Jews from Spain and Portugal began arriving in Bayonne after the Inquisition, and with them they brought something that would make Bayonne and France world famous: chocolate. Yes, given that it was first used by the native peoples of the Americas, chocolate first entered Europe through the Iberian Peninsula and as a result of the order of expulsion by the Catholic kings and the Portuguese monarchy, it was further exported to the rest of Europe. Together with chocolate and their traditional inclination to commerce, the Sephardic Jews integrated into Bayonne, which was a thriving commercial centre, and became part of the city's social fabric. A synagogue still stands in the Saint-Esprit quarter, which is near the train station and across the Adour from Grand and Petit Bayonne. It was designed and built in 1837 by Capdeville, and across from it is a hospice for elderly Jews founded by two bankers, Rodrigues and Salazar, in 1861. You can snap a few pictures through the gate, but I would imagine that to actual see the building itself you will need to make an appointment.

Address: Rue Denis Etcheverry
Directions: to the east of the Place de la République in Saint-Esprit

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 2, 2009
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