Sephardic Destinations in Spain and Portugal

Since the beginning of its history, the Iberian Peninsula has been invaded by a succession of peoples such as the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, etc. The first Jews are believed to have arrived at the same time as the Romans between the 2nd century B.C and the 2nd century A.C, and gradually began to be assimilated into the society of the time. With the Moorish invasion, the Jewish culture in Spain reached its height of splendor. During this period, Jews, Arabs and Christians alike lived peacefully in principal cities such as Toledo, Segovia, Caceres, Lucena, Caceres and Seville; many of these cities still preserve their Jewish District, Synagogues, etc .

LUCENA

Few Jewish communities established in Al-Andalus, they achieved fame as prominent as Lucena, known as the Pearl of Sepharad, and whose cultural splendour is comparable to that achieved literary circles hispanos-hebreo of Córdoba and Granada during the Caliphate and the Taifa kingdoms. All the Jewish or Muslim chroniclers before the European Renaissance, qualified Lucena "City of the Jews" during the 9th - 12th.
Sample of the Jewish past of the Lucena, better known as Pearl of Sepharad, they are the Church of Santiago, which is across the street flowers of Negron located in one of the oldest districts of the city 'the District of Santiago', traditional site of the Lucena Jewish or possible arrabal of the time of the splendor of the Jewish Lucena, and the Jewish cemetery

CACERES

Cáceres opens its doors so that you travel in time, so that you know your art and its history, discover its cuisine and marvel with its legends.
You will love its two Jewish quarters. "Old Jewry", located within the Monumental walled, presided over by the Hermitage of San Antonio, site of the former Jewish synagogue. It is a place of hidden streets and steep slopes whose originality lies in its whitewashed houses, with lintelled doorway, they take advantage of the wall as a back wall.
The "new Jewish quarter", which houses the current bread streets and cross, outside the walls of the Monumental city and next to the Plaza Mayor, It is the neighborhood that was formed from of 1478 so it was occupied by the Jewish population. Here is the Palace of the island, built on the site of the former Jewish synagogue, and current Municipal historical archive.

SEVILLE

Seville is loaded with romanticism and expectation, and it delivers on many fronts. There’s the neck-creaking delights of its architecture, the gluttony-inducing tapas, the palm-aching flamenco clapping, warm sunshine, the scent of almond and orange blossom mixing gently with the evening jasmine. At its heart, the gold-encrusted Alcazar Palace and the third largest church in Christendom stand side by side amongst the labyrinth of old Moorish streets. There are a number of beautiful and ornate ‘mudejar’ style buildings, the best of which is the Casa Pilatos, a cool oasis with peaceful patios and elegant colonnades, the Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park, the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz quarter, the old Jewish quarter....

TOLEDO

One of the oldest and most interesting historical cities of Europe, reflects the many cultures that have formed it, and perhaps better than any other city reflects the many moods of Spain’s art and history. Visits are made to the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, the ancient Jewish Synagogue and the Jewish Quarter.The Sephardic Museum of Toledo is located in a 12th century building and has one of the most important collections of the Jewish culture of Spain.

JAEN

The oldest area of Jaén is dominated by the Arab fortress which stands on the Cerro de Santa Catalina. From this height you can enjoy one of the best views of the city and the Valley of the Guadalquivir. Santa Catalina Castle currently houses the Parador de Turismo, one of the best options for the night during our visit.
At his feet the more mature neighborhoods of this Andalusian city unfold, articulated around the churches of la Magdalena, San Juan and San Ildefonso. But the main axis of the historic province of Jaen is the Santa Iglesia Catedral. A monumental Renaissance building from the 16th century, contrast with the white popular hamlet surrounding it. In addition to the main facade, the Chapterhouse, the main Chapel, the choir and the sacristy make up good examples of the art of this time.

SEGOVIA

Segovia, built on an arriscado limestone Crag that exceeds the 1.000 metres above sea level, cut into the smooth blue sky of Castile
The city of Segovia is universally famous for the Aqueduct, an imposing engineering marvel dating from Roman times. Here there is also a visit to the Alcazar, an enchanting fairytale fortress castle, the cathedral and the Jewish quarter.

Have a look at this sample itinerary which features some of these destinations, The Light of Sefarad.

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