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Spain Experience

Suitable for Family, Group, Senior

OVERVIEW

Barcelona and Madrid, two of the greatest cities in the world, are also great locations for Jewish heritage tours.

On a Jewish heritage tour to Spain, you can visit these spectacular cities as well as the charming town of Girona and the historical gem of Segovia, uncovering the rich Jewish heritage that has shaped these regions.

In Barcelona, explore the renowned Park Güell, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by the famed architect Antoni Gaudí. Visit the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s masterpiece.

Of course, the Jewish history of Barcelona goes deeper, and you can delve into it with a visit to the Medieval synagogue discovered in the Call quarter. Explore the remnants of the Jewish community that flourished here during the Middle Ages and gain insights into their cultural and religious practices. Additionally, visit the Casa Adret, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in the Jewish quarter, and learn about the historical significance of this architectural gem.

In Madrid, your journey continues with a tour of the renowned Prado Museum, home to an impressive collection of European art. Marvel at masterpieces by artists such as Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco, and gain insights into Spain’s artistic heritage.

The trip takes you to the enchanting city of Segovia, known for its rich historical and architectural treasures. Discover the awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct, explore the fairy-tale-like Alcázar, and stroll through the charming streets of the old town. Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere and uncover the traces of Jewish history that linger in this captivating city.

Spain is a country of good food, vibrant culture, and rich Jewish history. It’s waiting to be explored on a Jewish heritage tour.

Highlights*

  • Visit Gaudi’s unfinished Church of the Sagrada Familia, monument to the human spirit
  • See the Casa Adret, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in the Jewish Quarter of Barcelona (Call), nowadays home to “Mozaika” a Cultural Jewish Association promoting Jewish Heritage
  • Tour medieval Girona which was famous for its Kabbalists
  • Enter Casa Cundaro in Girona and have a glimpse at a former Jewish home from the Medieval days
  • See Besalu, a picturesque medieval town that features one of the best preserved Mikvaot (ritual baths) in all of Europe.

*Some experiences are subject to minimum group size

Day by Day Suggested Program

Day 1
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Arrival in Barcelona

Take a panoramic tour of the city, including: Plaza España and the mountain of Montjuic, site of the Olympic Ring, the main stadium of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Passeig Maritim with its Columbus monument, the world-famous Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main avenue and its Modernist houses designed by Antoni Gaudí

Visit Park Guell for imposing panoramic views of Barcelona and a first approach to Gaudi’s contribution to the city ́s landscape heritage.
Return to the hotel and then enjoy a welcome dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Barcelona

Day 2
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Have breakfast at the hotel
Visit Gaudi’s unfinished Church of the Sagrada Familia, monument to the human spirit.
Head for the Ramblas area of Barcelona.
Lunch on your own at the Boqueria Market, followed by a visit to the Medieval Synagogue discovered in the Call Quarter.
Go on a comprehensive walk through the Gothic Quarter. According to archaeological evidence, there was a sizable Jewish community in Catalonia as early as the beginning of the Common Era.
While in the Gothic Quarter, visit the Casa Adret, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in the Jewish Quarter of Barcelona (Call), nowadays home to “Mozaika” a Cultural Jewish Association promoting Jewish Heritage.
The evening is reserved for an event with the local Jewish community.
Overnight in Barcelona

Day 3
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Breakfast at the hotel
Depart the hotel for Girona, one of the most important Jewish historical sites in Spain.

Tour medieval Girona which was famous for its Kabbalists. It was also the home of the great sage Nachmanides, who defended the Jewish faith in the 1263 Disputation of Barcelona. Visit the Jewish Quarter, which dates back to the 12th century.

Stop for a special visit at the city ́s fascinating Jewish Museum, the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta.

Enter Casa Cundaro in Girona and have a glimpse at a former Jewish home from the Medieval days.
Have lunch on your own.
Continue on to Besalu, a picturesque medieval town that features one of the best preserved Mikvaot (ritual baths) in all of Europe.
Return to Barcelona.
Free evening.
Overnight in Barcelona

Day 4
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Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Sants Tran Station and board the comfortable AVE speed train to Madrid arriving around 3 hours later in the centre of the Spanish capital.

Panoramic tour of Madrid with several of its most emblematic sights: Puerta del Sol, Las Ventas Bullfighting Arena, Serrano Street, Colon Square, Alcalá Gate, Cibeles & Neptuno Fountains, Prado Museum & Plaza de España.

After lunch, visit the Prado Museum and view the masterpieces of artists such as Velazquez, Goya, Bosch, Rubens, Titian, and other great European painters.
Return to the hotel.
Free evening.
Overnight in Madrid

Day 5
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Breakfast at the hotel.
Early departure for Segovia, a microcosm of the story of Jews in Iberia from Roman times until the Expulsion.
Visit the former Great Synagogue, nowadays home to the Corpus Christi Convent.
See also Segovia ́s fabulous Roman Aqueduct, the “Great Dame of Spanish Cathedrals”, and the fairytale Alcazar Palace.
Visit the Jewish cemetery on the slopes opposite Segovia.
Lunch on yout own, at leisure.
Visit the XVI C. El Escorial Monastery & Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site- most Spanish Kings are buried here.
Before heading back for Madrid, stop at the imposing Valley of the Fallen, a controversial monument that required over 20.000 prisoners for its construction and which boasts a massive 150m tall cross.
Return to Madrid.
Festive Kabbalat Shabbat & dinner at Madrid Reform Jewish community.
Overnight in Madrid

Day 6
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Breakfast at the hotel.
This Shabbat we suggest strolling down the main streets of Madrid’s oldest quarter & the Literary area, the original site of Madrid, called “Austrias,” with its small plazas and narrow streets.
Visit the Plaza de la Villa, home to the city hall and the 15th century Tower of Los Lujanes, the site of the original Arab shuk of Madrid.
Visit the 17th century Plaza Mayor, the center of historic Madrid, sight of festivals and bullfights, but also the place where Jewish history marks the great trauma of the many auto-da-fe’s. that took place at this site.
After this we will continue towards the grounds of the impressive Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Spain.
Return to the hotel on foot.
Havdallah followed by free evening.
Overnight Madrid

Day 7
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Breakfast at the hotel.
Depart for Toledo, the center of which remains much as it was in the 16th century, and begin with a panoramic overview of the city.
Explore the city, including the San Roman Visigothic museum, the Jewish Quarter, the Samuel Halevi Abulafia Synagogue (later a church known as Nuestra Señora del Tránsito), and the Santa Maria La Blanca Church (formerly the Grand Synagogue).
Lunch on your own.
Continue by bus on tor Córdoba, the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of al-Andalus.
Arrive later in the afternoon.
Overnight in Cordoba

Day 8
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Breakfast at the hotel.

Early morning exploration of the fascinating and famous Cathedral- Mosque, La Mezquita de Cordoba, with its 1,000 colored columns.
Visit the Jewish Quarter, including Plaza Tiberias and the Yehuda Halevi Square. Continue to the small Moorish-styled building known as the Maimonides Synagogue.
Visit Casa de Sefarad, dedicated to the history of the Sephardic Jews in Córdoba and Spain prior to the Inquisition and the expulsion of 1492.
Depart for Lucena, a town that during the period of Muslim rule was known as “The Jewish city.” By the 12th century Lucena (“Eliossana”) had become the cultural center of Andalusian Jewry.

Visit the “Pearl of Sepharad” with its Jewish Necropolis.
Time-permitting, we will also explore the Church of San Mateo, on the site of what was once the ancient synagogue and subsequently a mosque.
Transfer by bus on to Granada.
Time-permitting and upon arrival, we will head for the San Nicolás Lookout coming face to face with the Alhambra Palace
Free evening
Overnight in Granada

Day 9
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Breakfast at the hotel.

Spend the day in Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors before it fell to Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492.
The Kaleidoscope that is Spain: Tour of the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most significant and well known Islamic complex in Spain and its visit takes around 3 hours.
After lunch, we will allow for free time to explore the Realejo, the former Jewish Quarter and the site of the original town bearing the name Garnata al-Yahud.

Afternoon bus transfer to Seville.
Free evening.
Optional: attend a flamenco music and dancing show to get a feeling for this quintessential Andalusian art form.
Overnight in Seville

Day 10
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Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day exploring Seville, a city shaped by many cultural influences. Some traditions place Jews in Seville from earliest times.

Begin with the sight of the iconic Plaza de España, an impressive plaza built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

Tour the Alcazar, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and a superb example of Mudejar architecture (this palace is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
Visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood, formerly Seville’s Jewish Quarter, once known as La Juderia, with its winding alleyways and remnants of Jewish life found within the contemporary city.

Visit the 12th century Great Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and La Giralda, whose bell tower became the city’s symbol.

Farewell dinner with guests from the small local Jewish community.
Overnight in Seville

 

Accommodation

*Star rating standards vary from country to country.

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