The ancient Jewish cemetery of Padua in Via WeilHistorical Curiosities
The ancient Jewish cemetery of Padua in Via Weil
Padua boasts one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1222 and open to everyone.
Between the 13th and the 14th century, Jewish citizens had the opportunity to receive a top education here... Thus Padua became the center of an important community, which soon felt the need to have a burial place for its members.
There are five Jewish cemeteries in Padua: the oldest and most striking one is located along Via Weil, which is also one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe!
Founded in the 16th century, it was used as a burial site until the 18th century. It is located outside the medieval city walls, protected by 16th century ramparts. In 1653 it was enlarged thanks to Salomone Marini, rabbi of the 'University of Portuguese Jews of Padua'.
Important people are buried in the cemetery in via Weil such as Meir Katzenellenbogen, born in Prague in 1473 and who died in Padua in 1565, author of the 'Responsa'; Rav Meir and his son Samuel, also a Talmudist rabbi. These renowned burials still attract visitors from all over the world. It also contains gravestones of people very dear to the city of Padua, including Abram Catalan, the Paduan doctor who, during the plague of 1630-31, was in charge of overseeing the living standards in the ghetto and taking the necessary measures to contain the spreading of the disease, along with three other Jewish doctors.
Today the Jewish cemetery in Via Weil is a place full of charm in the heart of the historic center of Padua... Surrounded by ancient walls, it winds through paths lined with old trees leading to the headstones.
Are you curious to visit this fascinating cemetery? Ask our guide to include it in your private itinerary of Padua along with other famous places in the city you’d like to visit!
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