Hebrew documents from the 13th and 14 th Centuries

Medieval Hebrew manuscripts in the Historical Archive of Girona

The Historical Archive of Girona holds a hidden treasure-trove of Hebrew documents emanating from the important medieval Jewish community of Girona. Most of these documents are still hidden in the bindings of numerous notarial registers. These are fragments of documents in Hebrew script which, during the Middle Ages, were reused to create hard covers for the acts of notaries, in Girona. The persecutions and forced migrations suffered by the Jewish communities of Europe account for an almost total loss of historical documents pertaining to them. Those documents which have been preserved have for the most part been recovered from bindings of other books, as is the case in Girona.


The presence of Jews have long been documented in Girona: individuals explicitly described as iudei or hebrei are mentioned in notarial sources as early as the 10th and 11th centuries. The Jewish community of Girona produced important figures in Jewish thought and culture, including philosophers, scientists and poets. When the mystical and kabbalistic movement developed in the 13th and 14th century, Girona became its most important centre in Western Europe.

© 2007 Generalitat de Catalunya. Arxiu Històric de Girona