Barrio de Santa Cruz: The legendary Jewish quarter of Seville

Barrio de Santa Cruz is a very old neighborhood that was originally inhabited by Jews. They were expelled from the city in 1481, but they left their mark on Sevillian culture.

Barrio de Santa Cruz is a very old neighborhood that was originally inhabited by Jews. They were expelled from the city in 1481, but they left their mark on Sevillian culture.

The Jewish Quarter of Seville is one of the most important and is located in the old town of Seville. The neighborhood has a rich history and tradition, which has been preserved for centuries.

24 de May de 2022

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The Barrio de Santa Cruz: Enchanted Place.

Protected from the walls of the Real Alcázar, the famous The Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz is a labyrinth of streets, beautiful houses, flowery patios all year round, perfect squares, crossroads that lead to the magnificent Murillo Gardens or the famous Mateos Gago street but also to Santa María street. And if you come to Seville for several days to take the time to explore the city, also take the time to stroll through the streets of this neighborhood full of myths.

Seville is full of legends of the Sephardic people and their historical past, and still in2022 , you feel the weight of history in its streets. It is important to note that the Mudejar church of Santa Cruz, as a synagogue, was demolished in 1811 under French occupation to build the current Plaza de Santa Cruz.

Because with its narrow winding streets, partly covered with buildings and its bright white houses, the Barrio Santa Cruz, which is right next to the Alcázar Palace, gives the impression of a medieval city center and has always been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seville.

The names of its streets remind us of the Sephardic past: Judíos, Levíes, Agua, Doncella, Vida were the names of the streets as early as the 13th century, when some 5,000 Jews lived in the city, around five percent of the total population. .

“Islamic Al-Andalus was the true heyday of the Jews in Seville. The small merchants were mainly Jews,” history teachers often explain.

The Jewish community of Seville lived for centuries in an open city, and it was not until the Christian conquest that the ghetto was born.

A small remnant of the wall surrounding the Jewish quarter remains, and two of the city’s four synagogues have been converted into churches: San Bartolomé and Santa María la Blanca.

The great era of Jewish life in Seville goes back a long time. Although King Ferdinand III respected religious freedom after the conquest of Seville in 1248, and his epitaph in Seville Cathedral is written in Latin, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew, a good hundred years later tolerance ended in June In 1391, the first bloody conflict took place in Seville.

The Jewish community never recovered from the conflict of 1391.

Even before the Catholic Monarchs issued the edict of expulsion of the Jews in 1492, there were practically no Jewish families left in Seville. It was not until 400 years later that the first Jews settled in the city again.

The parish seat was transferred to the current church, which was previously occupied by the convent of the clergy of the Holy Spirit on Mateos Gago street, and as has already been said, the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz is characterized by the presence of the Alcázar.

Also, for the 1929 exposition, the Barrio de Santa Cruz was remodeled .

Today, after all these reforms, the old town has become a place of great beauty and is the favorite place for many Sevillians to walk. It is true that like the Alcázar or the Cathedral, the Santa Cruz neighborhood is a must-see during your stay in Seville .



What is in the Santa Cruz neighborhood?

There are many things to see in the Jewish quarter. So many hidden courtyards, so many churches and small streets.

I recommend that you spend a morning or an afternoon with us and see what the beautiful neighborhood has to offer you, but above all an incomparable feeling of fullness, you can also sit on the benches under the orange trees to rest, sneak through the alleys to reach to the Venerable Hospital; a Hospital built in 1675 by the monks as a residence and hospital in the middle of the Barrio de Santa Cruz . The construction of the building was completed in 1697 under the direction of the architect Leonardo de Figueroa. There is also a church in honor of San Fernando.

This church is beautiful. You will be able to see great masterpieces such as the altarpiece, magnificent statues, paintings full of lights… perform the work of Diego Velázquez, one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age… Nowadays, there is an exhibition open to the public and if you like painting, we can organize a private visit to the museum of fine arts.

Video right of its author

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Video right of its author

El Barrio de Santa Cruz, the adored

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is probably the most beloved neighborhood of Seville …. And perhaps also essentially the most touristic neighborhood of the city and if n’es you are not well accompanied, you risk to get lost….. At night, you can discover its perfect nightlife, the favorite places of the Sevillians as the neighborhood is still alive and looks like an open-air museum. It is always a pleasure to walk around, especially in the evening, when it is relatively quiet and pleasant. Along the walls of the Alcazar, you can stroll through the backyard of Murillo, on the border between the old town and the trendy boulevards, and reach the beautiful Plaza de Santa Cruz.

The best restaurants in Barrio Santa Cruz

Seville is undoubtedly one of the hottest cities in Europe, so visiting it in spring or summer requires frequent stops to cool off 😉 This is a very good excuse to stop and enjoy the good food offered by the local Jewish quarter.

In the streets of the Judería, there are excellent restaurants or bars for a good romantic lunch or dinner or to try the famous Sevillian tapas . And you will see that the Jewish quarter is filled with a multitude of bars and restaurants, ranging from the most elegant in the city to the local bars established over several generations. Scattered throughout the neighborhood, some of them can be found in t´échapper… However, you can start your search to find your favorite place by walking down Calle Mateos Gago, near the Cathedral of Seville (if you want to know more about this magnificent temple, click here ). This very trendy street is full of tapas bars and restaurants that lead to the center of the Santa Cruz neighborhood: the locals say: that you have to have some tapas in each bar and follow the route!

In any case, we leave you our list of favorites to enjoy Andalusian cuisine:

– Oriza Restaurant, Calle San Fernando 41.
– The Rooftop, Calle Mateos Gago 8.
– The 3 de Oro Calle Sta. Maria the White 34.
– Bodega Santa Cruz, Calle Rodrigo Caro 1.
– Las Teresas, Sta. Theresa 2.
– Pelayo Tapas Bar, Calle de Placentines 25.
– San Marco, Calle Mesón del Moro 6.
– El Pasaje, Calle Ximénez de Enciso 33.
– Belmonte Tavern, Calle Mateos Gago 24.
– Peko Peko, Calle Sta. Maria the White 20.
– Bar Catalina, Paseo de Catalina de Ribera 4.
– La Tapatería, Sta. Maria the White 7.
– Gourmet Flowers, San Pablo Street 24.
– Las Columnas Brewery, Calle Rodrigo Caro 1.
– The Cave, Rodrigo Caro Street 18.
– L’Oca Giuliva, Calle Mateos Gago 9.
– La Bartola, Calle San José 24.
– The Tapas Sacristy, Calle Mateos Gago 18.
– Meson Don Raimundo, Calle Argote de Molina 26.

Where is the Barrio de Santa Cruz?

Map of the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Seville

In the surroundings of the old town you can visit:

– The Cathedral of Seville
The Royal Alcazar
– Les Archives d´Indes
– The Gardens of Murillo
– Take a relaxed walk to the Arab Baths of Santa Cruz
– The Museum of Murillo
– Water Street
– The Pilate House
– The Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes (very good place to take photos)

El barrio sevillano de Santa Cruz es un barrio legendario lleno de historias

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Conclusion

The Judería de Santa Cruz deserves more than words or a blog article, but your presence during your stay in Seville. It is the only way to understand this beautiful neighborhood and feel its history on your shoulders.

If you want to visit it with a private visit: we are at your disposal to take you there and show you all the history of the Barrio de Santa Cruz.