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Juderia in Seville. by egold
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… I’m not so religious in traditional manner, not serving any of world religious confessions but respect them all. I’m just human been and I believe in God, who created all our world, all around us and, of course, us – humans as well as other live creatures… Unfortunately it’s not so much of justice in our world, that’s why the fate of any person and especially of all population can’t leave us indifferent…

Barrio Santa Crus… It’s the most picturesque and delightful part of the Seville, with narrow winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, where you can sit outside a bar, enjoy some tapas and watch the world go by, or wander through centuries-old gardens and relax on beautiful tiled benches. Up to the end of 15th century it was the Jewish quarter; some of the churches were originally synagogues. The covered passageway heading off the Patio de Banderas (part of the Alcázar) called the Judería…

An ancient tradition places Jews in Seville at the time of the destruction of the first Temple (586 BCE). In fact, several influential Jewish families of Seville claim to be descendants of King David. Amazingly, there is even some speculation that Jews settled in this region as far back as the 11th century B.C.E. The source of this belief rests on the identification of Seville with the distant port of Tarshish which is mentioned in the Bible… There is no doubt that a Jewish settlement existed during the period of Visigothic rule in the peninsula. During the Ummayad Caliphate, Seville prospered and the Jews who lived there were engaged in commerce, medicine and the dyeing industry. Under the Almoravides, the Jewish community in Seville was big enough, but as in other parts of Andalusia, the Almohade conquest brought death and destruction. When Seville was reconquered by the Christians (1248), the Jews welcomed them with open arms. They presented Ferdinand III with a key to the city, which has been preserved in the cathedral treasury. For a period of time, the Jewish community was revived. Though they were taxed heavily, they received real estate, and good land for farming. Those who participated in annual fairs and were granted freedom to trade and exemption from taxes. Gradually, as the reconquest succeeded, and the Christians no longer needed money, or help from the Jews, live became increasingly more difficult. An important turning point came with the anti-Jewish activities of archdeacon Martinez, who was the confessor to the child king’s mother. Though he was repeatedly ordered to stop his diatribes, Martinez succeeded in arousing passionate hatred among the masses. In 1391, disaster struck in Seville. The entire Jewish community was nearly destroyed and the synagogues were converted to churches. Historians say many Jews converted to Christianity on the spot to save their lives, while women and children were sold as slaves. Once vibrant community never recovered and along with the other Jews of Andalusia, they were exiled in 1483…

Spots of the sunshine, cat on the roof screwing up one’s eyes, bright flowers everywhere – calm, peaceful atmosphere… All is not history in the Juderia. This is a neighborhood which pulses with life. As it was for the Jews for 1000 years, it is still a residential area. The Barrio of Santa Cruz, which encompasses much of the ancient Jewish Quarter, is considered one of the poshest neighborhoods of Seville and only names of the streets and “J” on the walls of houses remind about the people who lived here long time ago…

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andalusia, juderia, spain, textures

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