A side streets in the Jewish Quarter of Dubrovnik

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On the left side of the Stradun Promenade, when facing the clock tower, is the Jewish Quarter. The Synagogue, which is still standing, was built in 1408. This is the oldest, still active synagogue of Spanish Sephardic Judaism in the world. It is also, after the synagogue in Prague, the second oldest synagogue in Europe. On its floor lies the Moorish rug which the Spanish Queen Isabella, the benefactor of Columbus, gave her Jewish physician.


Like every inhabitant of Dubrovnik, Yeshayah Cohen had three names. He was celebrated as one of the most influential Latin poets and philosophers of his time under the name Flavius Eborensis. In Ragusa he was known under the Slavic name Didak Pir. He raved over Dubrovnik as “the Queen on the Illyrian Sea”. As befitting a poet from Dubrovnik he wrote about his new home: “Si tranquila meae sedes optanda senectae, Ante alias urbes sola Rhacusa placet.” This means something along the lines of: “Could I seek a peaceful place, to live my life and grow old, among all other cities, always I would choose Ragusa.” Didak Pir was born in Évora in Portugal. He spent about 50 years of his life in Dubrovnik.

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Dubrovnik City Walk – Palaces, Streets and Squares

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