France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes


Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. Photo by Wikipedia

Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is famous for its cathedral and ancient chapels.

The Jewish presence, with around 70 families, dates back to at least 1206, as attested by an administrative document. A Jewish quarter was established here between the 13th and 15th centuries. The Jews of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux gradually left the town, with only three families remaining at the end of the 15th century.

Recently, a medieval water-supplied cellar was discovered, which experts believe to be an ancient mikveh. It is located in the rue Juiverie (Jewry Street), as it was called at the time. The resurgence of water in this 7 x 4 metre cellar aroused the curiosity of INRAP researchers, following a complaint from the owner about recurrent flooding. During in-depth excavations, during which they removed furniture and wine bottles, they came to the conclusion that it might have been a mikveh.

A Hebrew holy ark was also discovered in the neighbouring house.

Sources : Encyclopaedia Judaica, Times of Israel and National Geographic

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