Architectural detail from Santa María la Blanca in Toledo, Spain. Originally built as early as CE 180 as a synagogue, Saint Mary the White is now a museum owned and preserved by the Catholic Church. The use of Mudéjar (Moorish) architecture for a Jewish place of worship during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile is seen by many as a symbol of the co-existence during the Middle Ages of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in what is now Spain. In 1405, the Jews were violently expelled from the synagogue, and it was used as a church, a monastery, and later, a sword workshop. The building, the third most visited historic site in Toledo, was declared a national memorial in 1856 and restored. It is currently not used for religious purposes.
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