In the Spanish province of Burgos, Castile y León, about 200 kilometers north of Madrid, is a tiny little village named Castrillo Matajudíos (pop. 60). The village is considering changing its name
According to its official website
, the town's name is derived from the Spanish words meta
, meaning "hill", and "judíos", meaning "Jews." Castrillo
, of course, means "little fort", and the village's coat of arms
features a little fort and a Star of David.
Unfortunately, the most straightforward reading of the word "Matajudíos" in Spanish is "kills Jews", or "Jew-killer". A massacre of 60 Jews and four royal officials in nearby Castrojeriz during a revolt following the death of Sancho III el Mayor in 1035, the resulting forced resettlement of the survivors to Castrillo, and another mob attack
against the Jews in Castrillo in 1109 has been proposed
as an alternate explanation of the origin of the town's name.
Another fun fact: in the Spanish province of León, "Matar judíos
" refers to the tradition of going out to bars and drinking alcohol-spiked lemonade on Good Friday, which falls on April 18 this year. It is said that this name comes from the (no longer followed) medieval tradition of mobs attacking and publicly executing Jews as supposed "Christ-killers" during Easter. Another possible origin for the term stems from Philip IV's decree of 1306 expelling the Jews from France
, upon which occasion the king allegedly declared, "Limonada que trasiego, judío que pulverizo
There may be a pattern