Once a Jewish Ghetto
Santa Cruz is one of Seville’s most beautiful districts and used to be a Jewish ghetto. Some of the churches were originally synagogues. You can get here by taking right after the Alcazar and then right again at Plaza de la Alianza to reach Plaza de Doña Elvira down the Calle Rodrigo Caro.
A brief history of Barrio Santa Cruz
Once home to the second largest population of Jews in Spain behind Toledo, it began to be occupied by Jews after Ferdinand III conquered Seville from the muslims. For over 200 years after the Jews were expelled in 1492, the area went downhill until its 18th century revival.
What is there to do in Santa Cruz
After you are done with the Alcazar and Cathedral, take in the atmosphere of the Barrio. The setting is very picturesque, the medieval streets have names such as 'Vida' and 'Muerte' (Life and Death) and you can see balconies filled with flowers. You can sit at one of the many bodegas, have a drink and just admire the streets, soak in the atmosphere. When night comes, you can see locals sipping wine, relaxed in their gardens.
The sculpture and legend of Don Juan
The Plaza de los Refinadores has a statue of the infamous Don Juan, the Seducer of Seville, who was famous for his sexual conquests. Legend has it that he was challenged to a duel by the father of a woman, Donna Ana, he was wooing. Don Juan killed the father, a military commander, and later mocked his voice from the tomb, even inviting him for dinner. It turns out that the ghost of the father did show up at the appointed hour, took a mortally afraid Don Juan by the hand, and dragged him off to hell.
Key HighlightsA part of the authentic Seville experience is a visit in the Santa Cruz district. What used to be a Jewish ghetto is now one of the a beautiful, whitewashed neighbourhood of Seville.
Walk around or have a drink and just enjoy the medieval maze-like streets covered in flowers, and courtyards lined with orange trees.
The Alcazar, Cathedral and Giralda all form part of Barrio Santa Cruz. To find out more about what you can do here, and to learn about Don Juan the Seducer of Seville, view the details.