El Barrio de Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city, is one of the most amazing neigborhoods of Sevilla. It is full of history, incredible architecture, beautiful gardens, and the cutest little parks and plazas. Santa Cruz is home of the Gothic Cathedral of Sevilla and it borders the Real Alcázar (a palace in mujédar-renaissance style that is surrounded by delightful gardens.) All the participants of our program were able to walk in the narrow callejuelas of this neighborhood, making us feel like being inside of a labyrinth. What a great experience!
While strolling down the callejuelas, Alejandro and Angel, our guides, introduced us to some wonderful tales and legends about Santa Cruz and the people that lived here in the last 500 years. We heard stories about duels, honor, love, betrayal, war, and death. We learned about the American writer Washington Irving and the house he lived in while he was in Sevilla in the 1800s. We also learned about a prodigious dancer, Antonio Ruiz Soler "el bailarín", who started dancing when he was four years old and danced in some of the biggest theaters in the world, in the 1900s. We learned about Susona, a beautiful jewish girl who lived in the XV Century and la Calle de la Muerte (Street of Death). What a story of love, betrayal, and death!
We had a wonderful time in Santa Cruz and I am sure that everybody wants to come back and continue exploring this exuberant part of the city. I know I will!