BELORADO (the old Bilforado; also called Belorado de la Rioja):
A city in the Spanish province of Burgos, which had Jewish inhabitants as early as the end of the eleventh century. The fuero, or charter of the city, granted by Alonzo el Batallador in 1116, and confirmed two hundred years later by Fernando IV., contains the enactment: "No difference shall be made between Jew or Christian in the matter of adjudging injuries inflicted on each other." In 1291 the community of Belorado paid 8,500 maravedis poll-tax and 2,001 maravedis municipal tax, about as much as the districts of Aguilar, Albelda, and Alfacel; and therefore Belorado had as many Jewish inhabitants as the districts named.
In Belorado, Jews were required to dwell apart from the Christians, the quarter of the former being in the vicinity of the Torre del Homenage. According to the command of King Alfonso X., issued in 1325, they were allowed to trade with Christians only on Monday, the market-day; and eight years later even this privilege was withdrawn from them, as well as from the Moors dwelling in the city. The Jews in Belorado were not only traders, but, like the Christians, were occasionally cattle-breeders. In 1408 Ayn Meromet or Vidal (Ḥayyim) de la Cuesta complained, in the name of the community, that though they were compelled by the Christians to sweep the streets and open places, and to repair the walls of the city from the Torre del Homenage to the Arco de D. Blanca, they were nevertheless forbidden to drive their herds on the common pasture-grounds or to hew wood in the mountains. To investigate this matter the infanta Don Fernando appointed a commission in which the Jews were representedb y Ayn Meromet mentioned above, and by Don Carruel ibn Tropabe, who was probably a physician. It was agreed, on the one hand, that the Jews should repair the city walls, and that on Thursday of every week two Jews should have the streets and open places cleaned alternately; on the other hand, it was agreed that the Jews should be allowed to drive their herds into the common pasture-grounds and to hew wood.
Gradually the number of Jews in Belorado decreased.While in 1291 they paid 10,500 maravedis in taxes, in 1474 only 1,500 maravedis were paid by the community of Belorado together with the Jews of Ochacastro, Bergaño, Villaharte, Quintanar, Villa de Pozo, Val de San Vicente, San Garçia, and Estordeche. After the expulsion in 1492 the houses of the Jews were sold at low prices, and the former Jewry received the name "Barrio Nuevo," which it still bears.
- J. Amador de los Rios, Historia de los Judíos de España, ii. 539, iii. 591;
- Boletin Acad. Hist. xxix. 338 et seq.