North of the Stradun a succession of alleys filled with potted plants runs uphill towards the city walls, on the way crossing Prijeko (literally "across" - a reference to the time when this part of the city was divided from the rest of Dubrovnik by a channel of sea water), which runs parallel to Stradun and contains many of Dubrovnik's more touristy restaurants. Towards the eastern end of Stradun, one of these steep alleys, Žudioska ("Jews' Street"), is home to a tiny synagogue - dating from the fifteenth century and said to be the second oldest in the Balkans.
The present-day interior dates from the nineteenth century, its heavy brass lamps and candelabras hanging from a bright blue ceiling dotted with star of David motifs. Unlike other Christian powers, Dubrovnik welcomed many of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, although anti-Semitism was not unknown. Even before their arrival in the city, scapegoating of Jews formed part of Dubrovnik's medieval carnival, most notably in the practice known as the dzudijata, in which an unfortunate lunatic or criminal was dressed as a Jew before being hauled through the streets in an ox cart and either ritually killed or made to act out a make-believe death - historians are divided on how far things actually went.
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