Castrillo Matajudios changes name
Spanish village Castrillo Matajudios has changed its nameGetty Images

A Spanish village that for 500 years bore the name Kill Jews has reverted to its name Jews Hill, reported Spanish newswire EFE.

The village adopted the name Castrillo Matajudíos at the height of the Spanish Inquisition, when religious minorities including Jews were persecuted by Catholic authorities, having previously been called Castrillo Mota de Judíos.

The residents of the village in Castilla y León approved the name change in 2014 following a proposal by the village's mayor; after gaining approval from municipal authorities, the name change became official on Tuesday, 23 June.

"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," mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez told the Independent.

The original name was adopted by Jewish settlers. Although an anti-Semitic massacre took place in here in 1109, historians believe the recently rejected name was adopted by the village's Jewish community to show their loyalty to the Spanish crown, after a 1492 decree expelled all Jews from Spain.

Many of the village's 56 residents have Jewish ancestry, and its official shield includes the Star of David.

Earlier in June, the Spanish government passed a law allowing those who could prove descent from Jews expelled from Spain to claim dual citizenship.

However, there are no plans to change the name of the village Valle de Matamoros, or Kill Moors Valley, which was named following the Reconquista campaign to oust the North African moors from southern Spain during the Middle Ages.