Home of the Largest Jewish Community of Medieval Spain
This exciting southern Spanish city is somehow the very essence of Spain--medieval alleys, festive flair, art and architecture galore, nightlife and tapas bars and on top of all that, home to what was once the second largest Jewish community in the “Golden Age” of medieval Spain.
Situated on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River, Seville is the capital of Andalusia. History here has no bounds… It is said that Hercules himself founded the city of Sevilla! Then came the Carthaginian conquest, the Muslim occupation in the 8th century and the Castilian conquest in the 13th century. Seville was also the site of the first tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition. An ancient tradition places Jews in in this city at the time of the destruction of the first Temple (586 B.C.E.). During Muslim rule Seville prospered and the Jews who lived here were engaged in commerce, medicine and the textile dyeing industry. One account says the “Moors” had Jewish guards for their city. In the 11th century, the king appointed the scholar Isaac Albalia as court astronomer and Seville became a center of medieval Jewish scholarship. Sevilla was re-conquered by the Christians in 1248. Jews then lived in the winding, narrow streets of the “Juderia.” For a period of time, the Jewish community grew and up to 500 families lived in Seville before the wave of anti-Semitic violence culminated in the expulsion of 1492.
Our tour guide will take you though the Medieval Jewish quarter of Seville and offer you an in-depth account of this once-bustling Jewish city and second largest center of Sephardic Jewish life. You will learn about various aspects of Jewish life before the expulsion, ranging from the general impact of conversions to the very personal stories of individuals who made up that community.