It's a long-overdue makeover for a village which may have one of the most offensive names in the world. (Via Wikimedia Commons/ Maintenance script)
Sunday, residents of the tiny Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudíos voted 29 to 19 in favor of changing its name. If you're wondering why, it’s because the name translates to "Fort Kill the Jews." (Via Antena 3)
"I can't believe that a town with that name still exists. ... In 2014 they're like, ‘You know what? It's a bit much.' ... How could it have taken you literally over a thousand years?" (Via The Young Turks)
Yeah, obviously not the kind of thing that looks good on a postcard. But how the village came to have the name in the first place is a story in itself.
The Guardian reports what is now Castrillo Matajudíos was first founded by Jews in 1035. At the time it was called Castrillo Mota de Judios — which translates to “Fort Hill of the Jews.”
According to Time, the name was likely changed after the majority of the Jewish residents were forced to flee or convert to Catholicism by the Spanish Inquisition in the late 1400s.
The name change first appeared in documents as early as 1627, and historians say it was likely an attempt to distance the village from its Jewish origins at a time of extreme anti-Semitism in Europe.
But since then, the name seems to have just stuck. The village’s mayor, who had pledged to resign if the name wasn't changed, told The Independent:
"The phrase 'Matajudíos' did not correspond to the way this village thinks or acts these days, nor with our village flag, which has the Star of David on it."
Over 90 percent of the village’s 56 eligible voters voted in the referendum, choosing to revert the name back to its eleventh-century name. The name-change process could reportedly take up to a year.