Tour departs from Madrid
Arrival to Madrid.
Jews had settled in Madrid around the synagogue, located where today stands the church of San Lorenzo, in the Lavapies quarter. In fact, some historians believe that this name comes from the old fountain which served the Jews to perform their ritual washing before going to temple. Very close by, on the street Salitre, archaeologists have found remains of an ancient Hebrew cemetery. At that time the Jews were forced to live in the Jewish quarter, which in 1391 was closed with a fence. Only medical doctors, so that they could help their patients, could live outside. The synagogue communicated with the plaza de Lavapiés through the street that is now called Fe, then called street of the synagogue. Many Jewish families lived in the Lavapies quarter until the days of the expulsion in 1492. Jews began to return to Spain in the nineteenth century, and established a synagogue in Madrid in 1917. A number of Jewish families arrived after the 1956 anti-Semitic violence in Morocco, and soon established informal house synagogues. Today, some thousand Jews, mostly from North Africa, make their home in Madrid.
Madrid. City Tour
Visit the Royal Palace, the home of Spanish Royalty from the 18th century. Today it is used as the setting for official receptions by the present King of Spain, Juan Carlos I. The Prado Museum is one of the world’s great art galleries with works of Velázquez, Goya and El Greco. A view of the old Jewish quarter and the Casa Sefarad located at the Cañete Palace.
Excursion to Toledo
Rightly regarded as a true «city within a city», the madinat al-Yahud, or city of the Jews, constitutes a broad urban space which occupies almost ten per cent of walled Toledo. Although the oldest written documents date their presence back to the 4th century, in the context of the Roman Toletum, the Sephardi goes further back and relates the Jews to the very mythical origin of the city, deeming it likely that the first Jews arrive in the Iberian Península at the time of the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles in the 8th to 6th centuries B.C. Under the Visigoth monarchy (5th to 8th centuries), the period when Toledo was the capital of the kingdom, the Jews formed a numerous colony and hence the existence of a Jewish quarter can be assumed from at least the 6th century.
Toledo. City Tour
One of the oldest and most interesting historical cities of Europe. Visits are made to the ancient Jewish Synagogues, Jews museum and Jewish quarter, the Gothic Cathedral, the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and the Church of San Tomé with the painting of El Greco.
Excursion to Segovia
The Jewish quarter of Segovia comprises a space which is totally delimited on the southern side of the walled city, a district now made up of the remains of synagogues, palaces, museums and buildings which evoke its Jewish past. The Jewish cemetery of Pinarillo on the other side of Clamores stream where there are some remains of burials which are of great value. The first indications of the presence of Jews in the city of Segovia date back to 1215. Later in 1252, the presence of the Jews in the city is a wholly consolidated.
Segovia. City Tour
Universally famous for the Aqueduct, an imposing engineering marvel dating from Roman times. Here there is also a visit to the Alcázar, an enchanting fairytale fortress castle and the Jewish quarter.
Excursion to Avila
The first documentary evidence of the Hebrew presence in Ávila dates back to 1144. Some say that there were Jews in Ávila well before in Hispano-Roman times. The first contingents of Jews arrived in around 1085 as part of the repopulation being arranged by Count Raymond of Burgundy. The Jews of Ávila were mainly involved in craft-based activity, particularly rich cloth trading. Nissim ben Abraham wrote in this city too his book of the wonders of wisdom, and here the heights of Christian mysticism were reached by Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross, the offspring of New Christians rooted in old families of Jewish stock.
Avila. City Tour
A fortified city situated on an hilltop in the heart of Castile with impressive medieval walls, the oldest and best preserved in Spain. A visit will be made to the old Jewish quarter, the Convent of Santa Teresa, the Royal Monastery of Santo Tomas and the Cathedral.
Departure from Madrid.