The history of Spanish Gypsies is more complicated than one of traveling beggars—they were an essential part of the development of modern Spanish culture..
When Did the Gypsies Arrive in Spain?
As the tight-knit family groups wandered, they came to Spain. Like all the travelers before, some came across the Pyrenees and others across the Mediterranean.
The earliest known document relating to Gypsies in Europe dates from January 12, 1425. Alfonso V of Aragon issued a safe-conduct through his kingdom, which extended from the Pyrenees south to Valencia, encompassing northeastern Spain.
The safe-conduct was issued to “Sir John from Little Egypt,” though of course, he wasn’t from Egypt at all. The pass included his band, and it was good for three months. But they weren’t the last band to be welcomed into Spain.
For the next several decades, records show that various bands of Gitanos were welcomed into Spain and received safe-conduct. By the 1470s, new waves came from the Mediterranean. These groups called themselves Greeks and claimed they were fleeing from the Muslim Turks, seeking sanctuary in Christian Spain