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ORENSE , city in Galicia, N.W. Spain. Jews had apparently settled there by the 11th century, and in 1044 were living in the nearby fortress. Until the 1460s, no further information is available on the community which during that period probably consisted of some 30 to 40 families. In 1474, its annual tax, together with that paid by the Jews of Rivadabia, Monforte, and Allariz, amounted to 2,000 maravedis. This decreased to 1,000 maravedis in 1482, and rose to 13,500 maravedis in 1491, apparently because of the obligation to contribute to the expenses of the war against Granada. In 1489 a writ of protection was granted to the community of Orense against the attempts of several knights to attack the Jews of the town; the governor of Galicia was ordered by the Catholic monarchs to protect them. The Jewish quarter, which until 1488 bordered upon the Rua Nova, was then transferred to another site next to the Fuente del Obizpo, and the local Jews were given a period of grace to settle there. A fine of 3,000 maravedis was to be imposed on those who refrained from obeying this order. The quarter remained on that site until the expulsion in 1492.


F. Fita, in: Boletín de la Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 22 (1893), 171; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), 307, 387; SuáRez Fernández, Documentos, index. add. bibliography: A. López Carreira, in: Boletín avriense, 13 (1983), 153–72.

[Haim Beinart]

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