Monday, September 26, 2005

Past and present (Spain II)

Avila of Saint Teresa's fame. Her parents were Jews converted during the Spanish Inquisition. There is now a church built on her birth place and it serves as a small museum. I'm surprised at the lack of "touristy" things around. Maybe it is just not the season but there is almost no one. The small church is rather quiet and dark, the air filled with heavy incense smell. Still, it is a sober place, at odd with all the other churches that I am used to see. A nice place.
I hear my mother muttered with a tone expressing something like admiration "Not bad for a little Jewish girl!"

Avila is also the town where Torquemada, of Inquisition fame, is buried. When I suggest to my mother to go see his burial place, she refused with a sharp "Why should I go visit this man?" I am startled to realize that for her, the Inquisition is not long gone history, it is the event that forced her family out of Spain. It is the event which explains why her parents spoke only Spanish, an heritage of exile and lost dignity. It is hard to believe that we are still so closely related to events that occurred more than five centuries ago.

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