Monday, May 9, 2011

Incantato presents The University of Georgia Chamber Choir at Sinagoga del Tránsito, (Toledo), Saturday, May 21st, 8:00 P.M.

The University of Georgia Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Mitos Andaya, will perform at the very famous Sinagogue del Transito in Toledo on Saturday, May 21st 2011, at 8:00 P.M.

The Sinagoga del Tránsito, is the popular name given to the Synagogue of Samuel ha-Leví, and is one of the most important examples of Hispano-Jewish art. It was built in the 14th century and is decorated with Mudejar elements and beautiful geometric motifs, flowers and inscriptions in Arabic and Hebrew.

The building was part of a sumptuous palace built in the 15th century and it was erected in the days when the Jewish community had an enviable position in the society of the era, with privileged posts in the Administration and Tax Collection Authorities.
King Don Pedro even openly protected the Jews, and synagogues saw their heyday under his reign (1350-1369), as they were protected even when a Papal Bulla had banned the erection of new Hebrew temples, and only allowed the refurbishment of those already constructed. When King Don Pedro built it, he defied all the laws about synagogues being smaller and lower than churches.
It features Nasris-style polychrome stucco-work, Hebrew inscriptions of the names of God, multifoil arches and Mudéjar panelled ceiling.
In the 16th century it became a church of Saint Benito. Later at the 17th century the name changed into Church of the Nuestra Senora del Transito. The name derives from the painting: Transit of Virgin. The synagogue was also used as military headquarters during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1877 the building became a national monument. The transformation of the building into the Sephardi Museum, as it is now officially called, started around 1910.

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