Photographer's Note

Here is Santa Maria La Blanca inside view, one of best jewish synagogues in Toledo, the city of three cultures...

Santa Maria la Blanca (literally Saint Mary the White, originally known as the Ibn Shushan Synagogue, or commonly "The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo'") is a museum and former synagogue in Toledo, Spain. Erected in 1180, it is disputably considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe which is still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church.

Its stylistic and cultural classification is unique as it was constructed under the Christian Kingdom of Castile by Islamic architects for Jewish use. It is considered a symbol of the cooperation which existed among the three cultures that populated the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages.

The synagogue is a Mudejar construction, created by Moorish architects on Christian soil for non-Islamic purposes. But it can also be considered one of the finest example of Almohad architecture because of its construction elements and style. The plain white interior walls as well as the use of brick and of pillars instead of columns are characteristics of Almohad architecture. The typology also presents nuances in its classification, because although it was constructed as a synagogue, its hypostyle room, and the lack of a women's gallery, make it closer in character to a mosque. Though it does not have a women's gallery today, it did at one time have a women's gallery according to an early 20th century architect.

It became a church in 1405 or 1411, but no major reforms were done for the change. It took then the name of Santa Maria la Blanca (Saint Mary, the White), and today it is known by this name.

Exif Data:
Nombre del modelo de cámara FinePix S6500fd
Hora y fecha de disparo 09/10/2010 10:41:36
Tv (Velocidad de obturación) 1/13
Av (Valor de apertura) 2.8
Compensación de la exposición 0
Velocidad ISO 200
Tamaño de la imagen 2848x2136
Flash Desactivar
Espacio color sRGB
Tamaño de archivo 2958 KB

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Additional Photos by Manuel Mayorga (ManuMay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2467 W: 253 N: 4601] (36447)
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