From Madrid to Segovia I like to go by bus. The Avanza line has departures every hour. By direct route it takes about 60 minutes. If there is a stop it takes about fifteen minutes more. Days before traveling to this city in Spain, where we would participate in an Ugartada (meeting of descendants of the Ugarte family), we bought the ticket (per person, each way costs €4.19). We buy round trip, because we return Sunday at sunset, when the buses to Madrid are full. At dock 8 of the Atocha interchange, where the bus leaves, my son Alexis and I met up with my granddaughter Pamela. Already in Segovia we stayed at the Infanta Isabel hotel, located in an excellent place: next to the Plaza Mayor. We have paid for the room weeks before, because in summer there are hotels in Segovia that are 100 percent occupied.
From the hotel, to wander through the Old Jewish Quarter, we went down San Frutos Street, next to the Cathedral. On the wall of a building, a tile says ‘Calle de la Judería Vieja. From here and to the Plaza de la Merced extended the populous Jewish aljama. The remains of three synagogues attest to this.’ On another wall, a mosaic once again identifies the same street we are walking on: ‘Calle de la Judería Vieja, main street of the old aljama where the Hebrews lived until their expulsion in 1492’. And it is to one of the synagogues that we go. We first stop at a small and austere temple, which we visit after paying a euro as a donation. It is the church of Eucharistic Adoration.
A few steps away is the entrance to the Old Major Synagogue of Segovia, built in the 13th century and which functioned as such until 1410. Today it is the Church of Corpus Christi, rebuilt after being destroyed in a fire in 1899. Suddenly, Pamela and I discovered in a corner a large Nativity. What a surprise in the month of June! It turns out to be, as we read, a ‘permanent Bethlehem’. I turn my eyes around and stop in front of one or another magnificent work of art. Here is a painting from the 18th century; there the magnificent altarpiece of the stigmatization of San Francisco de Asís, from the 16th century; nearby, the Virgen de las Angustias, from the 16th century… (My son, Alexis Ramos Brusíloff, takes the photos for this article in Listín).
Legend has it that a supernatural event took place in this place in 1410: the so-called ‘Miracle of the Synagogue’, when the Sacred Host was transported by angels who flew it to the monastery of the Holy Cross.