I have been for the past few weeks retracing the steps of my ancestors. First in Spain, in the town of Coria, where they once lived before the Spanish Inquisition, now here in Tangier, Morocco. It’s really a wonderful rich heritage we have in our family, ours was Jewish in nature so it has some amazing biblical history behind it as well. I wish I was better versed in the bible than I am and of world history too. I can say this though, this journey has given me an amazing education so far!
I’d like to share from where I was last in the town of Coria, Spain. A town that’s city walls date back to pre-Roman times, Yes, you can see it in the blocks that formed the first gates to the city here in “Puerta del Sol” (Door of the Sun) the way I first entered this old town, of my ancestors.
The town of Coria is still very much a town. It’s main feature is the amazing cathedral that sits on this hillside overlooking the surrounding, Alagon River valley. The old Roman bridge still is intact that leads from the walled city across the Rio Alagon heading to points south. The direction my ancestors would have gone, back to here, Morocco, since they did not convert when the period of the inquisition began, towards the end of the 1200′s. The reigning, King Ferdinand III, set forth a legislation in 1227 that regulated the life of the Jews. Prior to this though, the Jewish people lived in this area from around the 700 A.D. when the Moors first conquered southern Spain. Again, if you could see the beautiful countryside that still exists today, you would know what touched me so much about the area.
I have to share that my timing was really wonderful as well, since fields were in bloom everywhere I turned. Poppys, daisies, lavender colored flowers, roses galore and these roses still have the sweet smell of a rose…
The ancient Roman aqueducts still exist as well, they were used to irrigate the fields and I think still do to some extent today in certain areas. And then there were the sheep in the fields still living life as it had been most likely a thousand years ago.
Sadly the existence of my ancestors was not meant to remain the same. They had to leave this beautiful area or risk being imprisoned for their religious beliefs. I met with Juan Pedro Moreno who coincidentally is the Director of the Royal Prison, he’s also the leading town historian. He shared some wonderful insights into my research and also downloaded the family history I’d brought along that day. He informed me that the history of Coria and it’s rich heritage was being digitized, and should be live sometime around the end of this year. Pretty amazing stuff. He showed me original documents of the 1200′s when the rulings came, we spent about an hour together talking, then exchanged email addresses and I left feeling pretty pleased with my findings.