Italy / Sardinia


Port of Alghero. Photo by Natalia Meloni – Wikipedia

During the conquest of Sardinia by Peter IV of Aragon in the 14th century, Jews were part of the contingent of soldiers.

Following the conquest, some settled there, joined in 1370 by Jewish families from Catalonia and France.

Nonetheless, the Jewish presence in Sardinia seems to date back at least two thousand years.

A synagogue was built in Alghero in 1381. And a Jewish cemetery four years later.

They participated in the economic and geographic development of the city, notably by financing its fortifications.

Plaque in catalan indicating the ancient Street of the Jews. Photo by Olevy – Wikipedia

The good relations between the community and the regents of Aragon made it possible for the Jews not to suffer from the discriminations common at that time.

However, following the application of the Inquisition’s measures at the end of the 15th century, their situation rapidly deteriorated and they were expelled or forced to convert in 1492.

In 2013, the city’s mayor apologized to the Jewish community on behalf of the Jewish community for the fate inflicted during the Inquisition and invited them to return to the island. On this occasion, a  Jewish Square was inaugurated on the site where the old synagogue stood.