One of the more unique parts of Seville is in one of its oldest neighborhoods – the Barrio Santa Cruz. While the area is now a refreshing getaway from the rest of the city, it was once a thriving Jewish neighborhood in the city.
When the Muslims were finally expelled from Spain, the Jews thrived in this area of the city. The area included a synagogue, family houses, and narrow streets which became a neighborhood unto its self. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain and the neighborhood went downhill and was renewed in the 18th century. One of the former synagogues was converted into the Church of Saint Bartholomew and this area lost some of its Jewish history. While the area is thriving once again, many symbols of this Jewish neighborhood are no longer visible to tourists.
Walking the streets of the Barrio Santa Cruz, you see a part of the city that is different than all of the rest. The neighborhood consists of narrow alleys, winding streets, little plazas (squares), and orange trees. The small alleys were designed to maximize the shade in the city as the small alleys are a little cooler than the rest of the city. Orange trees provide shade and color to this neighborhood as the winding streets provide a maze of narrow houses and alleys to explore.
The old city water pipes are a part of this neighborhood and exploring the many little squares gives you some insight into its history. Little streets open up to plazas which seem to come out of nowhere. Enjoy tapas and restaurants as you walk among the white-washed houses, peering into the gardens visible from the streets. Plaza de la Santa Cruz contains an old church (where this neighborhood gets its name) and synagogue while Plaza de los Venerables has bars and terraces. Explore all the different plazas and see what the area has to offer.
The neighborhood is close to many other parts of the city including an entrance to the Murillo Gardens of the Alcazar. However, exploring the neighborhood of the Barrio Santa Cruz is a step back in time and a fun walk through a historical part of this city, so it’s a worthwhile addition to your Seville sightseeing. Winding your way through, enjoy the many plazas, the gardens and trees, the beautiful white-washed houses, and the narrow alleys.
While visiting the Barrio Santa Cruz is an interesting stroll through this part of Seville, it’s design, alleys, and beautiful make it a nice way to cool off in the hot summer heat of the city.