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Jewish Heritage of Dubrovnik

Discover the remarkable Jewish history of Dubrovnik!

Despite the small size of Dubrovnik's Old Town, the synagogue of Dubrovnik has global significance and was the central part of Jewish heritage in Dubrovnik throughout the history. The second oldest still active synagogue in Europe (after the one in Prague), it was established in 1408 and its present interior dates from 1652.
The first Jew mentioned in Dubrovnik documents in 1326 was a doctor. Already in the beginning of the 15th century, Jews can take residence in Dubrovnik, but following the 1492 expulsion from Spain, the Jewish immigrants quickly established themselves as merchants dealing in fabrics, silk, wool, leather, and spices. Ultimately, this lead to a decision of the Republic government from 1546, establishing the Jewish ghetto in one street in the Old Town, today called Zudioska street. In ghetto times, the alley was closed at the top and controlled by a gate at the lower end, neither of which exists today.
By 1614 the Jews of Dubrovnik were so much a part of the life of Dubrovnik that the Senate gave concessions to encourage them to live here permanently. Less than a decade later, however, the increased pressure from the Catholic Church and the changing sentiments of the local population had reduced the Jewish population to just four families. Today there are only a handful of Jews still living here and the synagogue is mostly a museum - but from time to time prayer services are still held by visiting rabbis.
We will start our special tour in front of Onofrio's fountain and continue along the main street Stradun, towards Zudioska (Jewish) Street where the Jewish community once lived. Then we will visit the synagogue and its remarkably well-preserved and historically significant interior, together with a small but remarkable Jewish museum, holding precious 13th and 14th century Torahs and many valuable documents related to the history of Jews in Dubrovnik. After the visit to the Synagogue and the Jewish museum, the tour continues with exploring the magnificent cultural heritage of Dubrovnik and tells the story of the historically significant Jewish community and the time they lived in.



Professional local guide, entrance tickets to the synagogoue, walking tour of Old Town

Quick facts

Available year round
Walking tour is about 1,5 hours long (can be adjusted)
Bring camera, comfortable shoes...


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Ghetto of Dubrovnik

After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, many of the expelled sailed east and some eventually settled into the Balkans and the independent city of Dubrovnik. In May 1544, a ship full of Portuguese refugees landed here, as Balthasar de Faria reported to King John. Two years later, in 1546, Dubrovnik officials allocated a Jewish settlement within the city, the Dubrovnik Ghetto, with the main street called Ulica Zudioska ("Jewish Street").
The Ghetto consisted of between 4 and 18 houses, interconnected to one another and the synagogue by interior passageways. Still, the Ghetto was occasionally too small, so members of the Jewish community sometimes lived outside it, but always in vicinity. The Zudioska street was like the petit Stradun (main Duborovnik street), with vivid and active daily life and theatrical and music performances which often attracted other Dubrovnik inhabitants to come visit.

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