The Sephardic Legacy in the Iberian Peninsula
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 has left us a great legacy regarding Jewish culture thanks to the Talmudic schools it once had.
PEARL OF SEFARAD
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.
Lucena takes its name from the Arabic “Al Husseine”–which means “the handsome one”. It is one of the few truly Jewish towns--during the Moorish period Jews were in vast majority in this region. 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, 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.
The capital of the Extremadura region is a charming and historic city surrounded by impressive 16th-century walls and with a remarkable Old Town, the Ciudad Monumental, full of narrow cobbled streets and medieval palaces.
MAGICAL & MEDIEVAL
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.
Forged on love and war, Seville equally disarms and seduces you.
DOORWAY TO THE PAST
Roman ruins testify the settlement’s earliest face, memories of the Moorish era flicker like medieval engravings in the Santa Cruz quarter, while the riverside Arenal reeks of lost colonial glory. The Old Town, which was also founded on the ruins of the ancient Jewish Quarter, is an intoxicating live air museum, where narrow alleys transport you to Seville's most crucial period, the 14th century when the city was the most important in Castile. Seville most significant achievement came in 1492 with Cristobal Columbus discovery of the Americas in 1492. His tomb is located inside the impressive the Cathedral which was built during that time, and is considered the largest christian gothic cathedral in the world. Adjacent to the Cathedral, and in the beautiful squares which surround the whole nearby area, there is the Giralda and Patio de los Naranjos, both of them with moorish roots, Archivo de Indias, Royal Alcazar, Torre del Oro... only to name a few. The cultural legacy of Seville is almost endless, no wonder its Old Town is the largest in Spain.
Dramatically located in a surreal landscape of desolation, Toledo, known as the 'city of three cultures', is a unique cultural synthesis that stands out on a rocky mound set overlooking the curvy Rio Tajo.
One of the oldest and most interesting historical cities of Europe, Toledo 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. Some of Toledo’s top attractions are the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, the ancient Jewish Synagogue and the Jewish quarter. Another forte of the city is art, with the haunting canvases of El Greco spread all over the museums, churches, and mansions.
Located among immense fields of olive groves, Jaen offers a charming historic center with ducked neighborhoods, great tapas bars, and a gorgeous cathedral.
AMIDST THE OLIVE COUNTRYSIDE
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.
A lovely small city founded on warm terracota and sandstone. Strategically located on a rocky ridge, Segovia is a magical fairytale set amid the rolling hills of Castile.
The city of Segovia is universally famous for the Aqueduct, an imposing engineering marvel dating from Roman times. Some other outstanding constructions are the Alcazar, an enchanting fairytale fortress castle, the cathedral and the Jewish quarter. In the surroundings of Segovia stands out the supremely elegant Bourbon summer palace and Gardens of La Granja, built by Felipe V in the luxurious Versailles' style.
An intricate historical city with cobbled streets and imposing medieval walls.
Girona, a labyrinthine city with a long 2000 years history, believed to be founded around 76 bc. The city provides a refreshing medieval scenery to the more hedonist nearby Costa Brava. Girona features an outstanding walled medieval quarter, the Barri Vell, which spreads along a hill above the city centre. Its narrow cobbled alleyways, shady squares and colorful balconied houses are a delight to explore. Clinging to the banks of the Ríu Onyar, which divides the city in two as it meanders through the centre of town, you will find a long row of picturesque colorful houses known as the Cases de l’Onyar. We personally love to wander the narrow streets of the old town, considered the best preserved medieval Jewish quarter in Spain, to soak up the historical atmosphere.