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Costal Towns


Jews of Piran are first mentioned around the year 1380 in relation to the money-lending activities. They allegedly replaced the Florentine money-lenders who had been active in this area way before the 14th century. The written sources report that each Jews arriving to town signed a contract with the municipal authorities, in which his duties and obligations were meticulously described. Aside from money-lending, the Jews of Piran were also involved in trade, namely that of wine, olive oil, cloth, fur, weapons, horses, furniture, salt, and ships. They were also involved in real estate commerce, namely buying properties at public auctions and reselling them.
They did not gather in the synagogue on Shabbat, but in the large rooms of their houses. They lived in houses rented from the Piran citizens and were not confined to a specific quarter. They also enjoyed full autonomy in religious and educational affairs. The Jewish cemetery was situated in a village called Zudeca.
Towards the end of the 15th century, the situation deteriorated for the Jews of Piran as their rights were gradually reduced after Venice introduced the Jewish ghetto in 1516. This decree had a significant impact on the lives of Jews in Piran and gradually, they left the city.

Souce: Janez Peršič (1999). Jews and money-lending business in medieval Piran. Ljubljana: Faculty of Arts. Department of history.

Martina Bofulin (martina_bofulin@yahoo.com)


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