European Jewish Congress
New archaeological discoveries reveal uniqueness of Montpellier's ancient Jewish ritual bath
France
New archaeological discoveries reveal uniqueness of Montpellier's ancient Jewish ritual bath

A 12th century mikve in the southern French city of Montpellier has been described as “one of the most beautiful medieval mikves in the world” by the archaeologist who has been conducting studies on the ancient site since the beginning of the year.

Christian Markiewicz told a press conference in the city that the find was “very rare” and that very few of this type still were in existence in Europe.

The presence of the mikve, or Jewish ritual bath, attested to the presence of a sizeable and important Jewish community in Montpellier in the 12th Century after the expulsion of the Jews from Andalusia in 1140, Markiewicz said. At the time, there were between 500 and 1,000 Jews in the city’s Jewish quarter.

Jews were expelled from the Kingdom of France in 1306 by Philippe le Bel.

"This mikve belongs to the city and not to the Jewish community,” Philippe Saurel, mayor of Montpellier said on Tuesday. “It is very important that it does not escape what constitutes the Montpellier community, whatever their colour, origin or religion."

Click here to read the full article in RTL

Thursday, July 27, 2017
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