The Synagogue of El Transito (Spanish: Sinagoga del Tránsito) is a historical building in Toledo, Spain, founded by Samuel ha-Levi in 1336. Samuel ha-Levi was a diplomat and treasurer at the court of Peter of Castile. After the expulsion of the city's Jews under the Alhambra decree in 1492, the Synagogue came under the order of Calatrava and was transformed into a hospital of the Priorate of Saint Benito. In the 16th century it became a church of Saint Benito. Later at the 17th century the name changed into Church of the Nuestra Senora del Transito.
The name derives from the painting: Transit of Virgin. The synagogue was also used as military headquarters during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1877 the building became a national monument. The transformation of the building into the Sephardi Museum, as it is now officially called, started around 1910. It was initiated by the Veca-Inclan foundation. This Synagogue was the private family synagogue of the king's wealthy treasurer, Don Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia. When he built it around year 1400, he defied all the laws about synagogues being smaller and lower than churches, and plain of decoration. It features Nasrid -style polychrome stucco -work, Hebrew inscriptions of the names of God, multifoil arches and Mudéjar panelled ceiling featuring Arabic inscriptions. Women were separated from men during the ceremonies, but were allowed to watch. The Gallery is located on the first floor of the southern wall, having five open windows looking down towards Aron Kodesh El Transito Samuel ha-Levi Holy Ark Mosaic Detail on the east wall View towards ceiling Torah Ark cover View from Women's Gallery