The Jewish Quarter of Seville is the ultimate place to retrace the footprints of Jewish history in Spain. The exploration of this district is as crucial as the Royal Alcazar or Plaza de España in the fulfilment of the Sevillian experience. This entire neighbourhood is a must-see when visiting the city.
Follow the twisting paths of this area and let your curiosity enjoy the many marvels that this neighborhood has to offer.
History of the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish district began with the construction of a wall during medieval times that separated Jews from the rest of the city. This fence begins at Tintes street and travels through Mercedarias square until ending at Mateos Gago.
In 1248, Seville was conquered by the Christians, who warmly-welcomed the Jewish population. As this society became increasingly adept, the Christian population no longer needed the money or the assistance of the Jewish people and relations grew tense.
Enough hatred was fostered to incite disaster in 1391, when the entire Jewish community was attacked and their synagogues were converted to churches. Thousands of Jewish lives were lost.
A dark history of deceit, destruction and death creates an unshakable feeling that hangs in the air within the walls of the Jewish Quarter of Seville. Given the quaint charm that defines this area, visitors will find it hard to believe such history.
Barrio de Santa Cruz
Cobbled streets, white-washed houses, cute shops and many dining spaces largely account for the widespread recognition of this particular Jewish neighborhood in Seville.
Visit the covered passageway heading off the Patio de Banderas Juderia and the Pasaje del Agua, which is named after a watercourse running along the top of the wall. Orange trees will frame your journey as you explore the many hidden passageways, gardens, and churches within this area.
The main sights include the Cathedral and the Giralda Bell Tower, the Alcazar, and the Archivo de Indias.
Barrio de San Bartolomé
Situated between the Puerta Carmona and the Puerta de la Carne, this neighborhood is often overlooked despite its unique charm. The central square, Plaza de Las Mercedarias, is surrounded by many attractions including Content de las Mercedarias and the former Parish church of Barrio de San Bartolomé El Viejo.
Wander these streets and take in the haunting atmosphere. Tragic love stories, historic street names, and hidden symbols decorate this labyrinth of snaking streets.
Exploring the Jewish Quarter
There are many options to help make the most of your adventure through history in the Jewish Quarter of Seville.
Apart from the wealth of information available online, the Centro de Interpretación de la Juderia is a museum located within the Santa Cruz district that exists to recover and to value Jewish culture. For only 6.50€, enter the museum Monday to Saturday from 10:30 until 15:30 or Sunday from 10:30 to 18:30 to understand the boundaries of the city, its history, its characters and their stories.
There are also many tours available that will guide you through the maze of streets and provide historical information. These tours vary in length and price depending on what you wish. Consult online reviews or visit the local tourism office for more information.
Otherwise, grab a map of the city and take your time exploring the Jewish Quarter. We advise making a loose plan to visit several notable sites within the area; shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among many fantastic tapas bars and charming courtyards that are nestled within the streets.
Bring some cash, a camera, a map and your curiosity.There are many little restaurants, bars and shops worth checking out. If you would prefer packing your own lunch, there are many courtyards and benches that would accommodate a charming picnic.
Getting to the Jewish District
The Jewish District of Seville is located around the Cathedral of Seville, so arriving is a similar process.
The exploration of these neighbourhoods in indisputably best done on foot.
Explore this charming district located in the heart of Seville, Spain and allow the haunting charm of history occupy your afternoon.