March 21, 2018
Koldo Leoz, president of the Red de Juderias, has highlighted the importance of the Sephardic heritage and the need to maintain the traditions of the Sephardi People.
March 21, 2018.- To make known the Sephardic legacy in Spain and discover a unique architectural, historical, environmental and cultural heritage, as well as the heritage of the Jewish Communities, is one of the main objectives of the tourism offer of the Red de Juderias.
Sergi Marí Pons, Manager of Tourism, Trade and Markets of Barcelona City Council, was in charge of opening the event, which was attended by Lluís Bassat, a prestigious publicist whose four grandparents were of Sephardic origin and who dedicate a large part of their time to the Carmen & Lluís Bassat Private Foundation to help people in need and the promotion of contemporary art in Catalonia. Last year the writer Vicenç Villatoro published the book “The return of the Bassats” that documents the return of the Bassat family to Barcelona and whose history is a reflection of what happened in many Spanish cities.
Barcelona is the only city of the Red de Juderias in which the Jewish community still resides and its Jewish quarter was the most important in Catalonia, which is the reason why the Catalan capital has been grateful to be the chosen place to host the event. Its mayor, Ada Colau, received the mayors present at the event and had the opportunity to talk with them during their visit.
"Our heritage: where the past meets the future".
During the ceremony, Koldo Leoz, president of the association, highlighted the importance of heritage and the feelings linked to the Sephardi people, with whom there is a historical debt to maintain their traditions, and stressed the relevance of Jewish heritage as a way of knowing and discovering cities from a new and captivating perspective.
In the European Year of Cultural Heritage, whose motto is "Our heritage: where the past meets the future", Red de Juderias proposes to embark on a different journey through Spain to experience new sensations and immerse oneself in the heritage of the Jewish people.
The Sephardic legacy awaits travelers who want to delve into a route that runs throughout the Spanish geography. In the northwest, Ribadavia, Monforte de Lemos, León and Oviedo are four cities full of attractions that constitute a journey into the past where the customs of the time, the monuments, the facades, and the flavors remain intact in the present.
In Navarra and La Rioja, the Jewish quarters of Calahorra, Estella-Lizarra, Tudela and Tarazona combine essential places, such as the house of the Casanate converts (Tarazona), with the tasting of recipes that have been the origin of many dishes of Spanish cuisine, like the stew, which comes from the Sephardic stew cooked under the rules of Kashrut.
In Barcelona, a large part of the Sephardic memory is collected in the MUHBA El Call museum, located in a building of medieval to be owned by a Jewish merchant of the Middle Ages, and where different pieces of pottery, glass, and goldwork.
The monumentality of the Jewish quarters of Extremadura, starting with the streets of the San Antón neighborhood in Cáceres, to continue with the visit to the Carvajal Girón Palace in Plasencia, and ending up lost in the medieval quarter of Hervás, are a mandatory stop mainly in the spring, when nature with its burst of color becomes an unparalleled framework to enjoy an unparalleled experience.
In Andalusia, the Jewish presence dates back to the 7th century in Jaen, where the chapel of San Andrés stands out. In the eleventh century, Cordoba became the most important place for Jews in the Iberian Peninsula, until the troops of Ferdinand III the Saint conquered the city, and its Jewish quarter retains its typical layout, while in Lucena its rich heritage Arab and Christian joins the Jew, with the necropolis, the largest in Europe, as the most important icon.
In the central area of the peninsula, the Sofer Synagogue site, the Santa María la Blanca Synagogue, the Tránsito Synagogue and the Casa del Greco Museum in Toledo are an essential stop to admire the beauty of Sephardic architecture . In Segovia, its respectfully restored Jewish quarter provides the traveler with an exceptional tour, with the church of the Corpus Christi convent, which was the main Synagogue of the city, the palace of Abraham Senneor, where is the Judería Educational Center, and the cemetery Jewish, excavated in El Pinarillo, and from which you have the best views of the profile of the Segovian capital. In Ávila, the best way to conclude a day admiring its judería articulated around the current streets of the Catholic Monarchs and the Pocillo is to contemplate the sunset from the Garden of Moshe de Leon.
The traveler is the real protagonist in "Discoverers of Sepharad", Red de Juderías encourages travelers to know the 18 cities that make up the Association to embark on a journey to the senses and delight in Jewish culture and cuisine through the program " discoverers of Sepharad ". This initiative pays special attention to people whose interest is to make a unique and different journey that allows them to reconnect with a legacy that is part of their history. In this way, Red de Juderías distinguishes as travelers of Sefarad those travelers who dare to discover any of the cities that make up the Network. Each visitor can request their Discoverer's Passport at the Tourist Offices, which will be stamped on each visit to the city and certain points of interest of each of them (synagogues, Jewish museums, establishments associated with the RASGO network) and that will allow you to obtain a series of gifts as you reach a certain number of stamps: a Travel Journal (upon reaching the five stamps) and a Discoverer's Diploma and a Sefarad badge ( when reaching ten stamps). All the information about the project "Discoverers of Sepharad" can be found at www.redjuderias.org.