Cultural Travel Experiences
There are endless combinations and possibilities to crafting your own Sephardic Heritage route – let Spain Savvy help you figure out which ones are the right fit for you and your family, group, etc.
Contact us today to get to work on your very own custom itinerary. Our Sephardic Heritage programs are run in conjunction with BE SEPHARAD, dedicated to preserving the Sephardic legacy in Seville and the surrounding areas.
Some Ideas for a Cultural Trip in Sefarad
Sefarad is the name given by the Ancient Hebrews to the Iberian Peninsula. Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together in Spain for centuries, where their cultures, religions and customs coexisted in harmony.
A Paradise Lost and Found
Seville, Córdoba, Úbeda and Lucena
Feel the presence of the millennial Jewish history on the streets of what was and is the home of the Judeo-Spanish and Sephardic people. Walk through history in some of the most important Andalusian Jewish and Christian quarters from medieval times. Enjoy the beauty and magic of their streets and enjoy their culture: music, gastronomy, customs that formed a part of diverse religions and people – Jews, Muslims and Christians – coexisting and enriching their legacy.
Sepharad and the Sephardic Diaspora: Morocco
Homes left behind (Córdoba and Seville) and passageways of hope and refuge discovered: Tarifa, Tangier, Tetuán and Chefchaouen. Follow the paths of the Sephardic Jews to exotic places of great beauty and mystery. Live the culture that they kept alive as the love for the abandoned homeland, while melding it with the indigenous culture of the legendary country of Morocco, becoming a great refuge for the Sephardic and propagating values of coexistence and popular culture.
Sepharad: Spain & Portugal
Seville, Córdoba, Toledo and Lisbon. Sites of great beauty and charm, and the cradle of important and brilliant Jewish quarters that fought tirelessly to survive, with their resident Jews and “cryptoJews” (also known as marranos), sharing the same fate. Lose yourself in the streets of these charming city centers, feeling the weight of the very history that has transformed them into today’s vibrant present-day culture, and enjoy the cities’ gastronomy, music and people.
Toledo: A Footprint of Medieval Judaism
Toledo is known as a true «city within a city», the madinat al-Yahud, or city of the Jews. It is a broad urban space, which occupies almost ten per cent of walled Toledo. Divided into different districts, which correspond to the different stages of its expansion, the Jewish part of Toledo is an intricate maze. You can have a grasp of the real overview of what the Jews of Toledo were like. and how they lived for at least eleven centuries. According to some Jewish writings, the Jewish settlement in Toledo is the most ancient not only in Spain, but in the entire Iberian Peninsula.
Traces of Jewish history in Toledo
The most ancient Jewish settlement in the Iberian Peninsula
According to Isaac Abravanel (Abarbanel), a Jewish theologist born in 1437, the first settlers in Toledo were exiles from the tribes on Judah and Benjamin. This Jews probably established themselves there when the city became the capital of the Visigoths. Definitely, it was in some moment during the fourth or fifth centuries. Many Jewish buildings in Toledo have been well preserved, as well as some tombstones, that are preserved in the archeological museum of the town.
The Muslims ruled Toledo during the 11th century. In that period, a large population of Jews occupied Toledo, owning a wide variety of businesses such as textile manufacture, tanning and dyeing or commerce. With time, Toledo became a center of Jewish scholarship, translation and science. This situation remained unchanged after the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085. The community developed to become the most prominent in the kingdom of Castile, one of the most important in medieval Spain.
The language used by the Jews in Toledo was a mix of Arabic and Hebrew. In their documents there are sources that reveal a well-developed economic life, with records of Jews having purchased land, as lenders and borrowers. There are also written proof of partnership with Christians in real estate transaction and in commerce.