Thursday, April 5, 2018


Today was warm and sunny. Coats, gloves, beanie all redundant! I can't believe I'm writing this! After half an hour's bus ride from Plasencia, I found myself in the mountains. The snow on the tops seems very close.

Hervas is a lovely spot, just off the Camino but well worth a visit. It has the best preserved medieval Jewish Quarter in Spain. I had lunch before exploring: an enormous helping of lamb chops. (I had been watching Rick Stein in the Albanian mountains on TV last night, enjoying a whole roast lamb with shepherds, that I had to eat some myself!)

Jewish families settled in Hervas in the 14th century and worked as weavers, cobblers, money lenders and tax collectors. When Ferdinand and Isabella ordered the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, some 25 families were led out of town by way of the medieval bridge to Badajoz and the Portuguese border. Two years later a few returned and converted to Christianity, adopting Spanish names.

Their typical houses were of 3 stories, combining wood frames and adobe. The ground floor would contain a wine cellar and a stable, the first and second floors would have the kitchen and weaving loom, bedrooms and store rooms. Tiny narrow alleyways were built between houses to channel off rainwater. One of these is said to be the narrowest street in Spain.

Room with a view : a mountain view, with snow on top 

Start of a walk through the Jewish Quarter

Medieval bridge 

View of the town from a lookout

Typical houses: some have vertical tiles on the walls as protection against rain

The houses are famous for their displays of pot plants

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