Trikala Jewish Cemetery
Jews probably lived in Trikala since antiquity. The Turks expelled the Jews to Istanbul in 1453. In 1506, there were some 90 Jews in Trikala. This small Romaniot community (dating from the Byzantine period) absorbed exiled Spanish, Portuguese, and Sicilian Jews in the early 16th century, as well as Hungarian Jews in 1526. The community became predominantly Sephardi and reached a peak population of around 1,000 towards the end of the 17th century. There were 3 congregations (Romaniot, Sephardi, and Sicilian), each with its own synagogue. Two of the synagogues were destroyed by fire in 1749; one was rebuilt. Trikala was annexed to Greece in 1881 and the community was granted religious freedom. In 1906, a Zionist organisation was founded, the first of a number of Zionist societies established in the following years. In the 1920s, the community maintained 2 synagogues, a school, 2 welfare organizations, and a theatre company. The Jewish population in 1940 was 520. By WWII, only one-quarter of the Jewish population remained. Many were deported to the death camps. The Germans withdrew from Trikala in 1944 and the Jews slowly returned, numbering 267 in 1945. A small community was reestablished.
The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but it can be assumed that it emerged in the 16th century.