BALAGUER, town in Aragon, northeastern Spain. At the time of the Christian reconquest at the end of the 11th century, several Jews already owned houses and land there. In 1280 Pedro III ordered an inquiry regarding violations of the interest laws by the local Jews. Efforts by the counts of Urgel to restore the community after the *Black Death and the anti-Jewish disorders accompanying it in 1348–49 were apparently successful. During the persecutions of 1391 the Jews in Balaguer took refuge in the citadel but were forced to leave by King John I. In 1416 Alfonso V, after suppressing a revolt, imposed a fine of 45 pounds of silver upon the Jews of the town, notwithstanding the fact that the community had become impoverished through migration to the estates of the nobility and the conversions to Christianity at the time of the *Tortosa disputation. New settlers were not granted exemption from taxes. The community existed until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.
J.M. Pou y Martí, Historia de la ciudad Balaguer (1913), 47ff.; 62, 116, 330; Baer, Urkunden, 1 pt. 1 (1929), index; Vendrell, in: Sefarad, 3 (1943), 137ff.; Piles, ibid., 10 (1950), 179; Baer, Spain, 1 (1961), 115, 212.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.