The Jewish Devil

The Jewish Devil

The “black legend” that since the Middle Ages has accompanied the February People living in Toledo, even after their expulsion, shows us one more chapter with the text that we adapt below in The Jewish Devil: necromantic arts, love for a daughter and a tragic ending, very common elements of the legends that from parents to sons have been transmitted for centuries in our city.

From the now called “Paseo del Miradero”, you can contemplate a brief abandoned spot between numerous houses, between the Puerta Nueva de Bisagra and what is known as Barrio de la Antequeruela. There was a great palace there, a few years before the Catholic Monarchs expelled the Jewish people from their territories. It was an immense and rich building, with large staircases and expensive marble columns extracted from old Roman villas that accompanied the passage of the River Tagus through the lands near Toledo. In the central courtyard, colossal statues had been arranged in ferocious attitudes, intimidating the few people who entered the interior of the enclosure, and under them strange inscriptions that only the initiated would succeed in translating.

The Toledans of the time gave the enclave the fame of an infernal place, giving the owner of the place as a dealer in spirits and evil, for only he would be able to give such a person sufficient wealth to build such a palace. Many knew that the owner was an old Jew, who lived there with his daughter, of spectacular beauty, and who was rarely seen in public.

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To this dark fame was added the comments of the neighbors closest to the palace who said that during the dark nights were heard through the walls strange rumors, loud groans of the beautiful daughter of the Jew and sometimes the squeaking of strange instruments… While this was happening, immense columns of smoke appeared by the chimneys of the palace…

Who was capable of working in this way every night of the year if not a person with diabolical treatment? Where did the screams and terrible noises that broke the silence of Toledo’s night come from?

These and many other questions were asked by the watchmen of the walls during a cold night in November, while they looked with some fear at the chimneys of the palace that one more night emitted thick columns of smoke.