Sephardic music is still alive. After more than five centuries and thanks to oral transmission from generation to generation, we can enjoy it today.
We propose you to join us in our visit to Sefarad and its music.
These tunes were born in Sefarad (Spain), they were kept and got richer during all these years.
Sephardic population took the music with them at the Diaspora and it got influenced by the cultures they were passing by and mixed with melodies from the Muslims, Christians and Near East. Beautiful sounds that will accompany us in our trip through history
In our first day we will meet you at the airport to take you to the hotel Petit Palace Opera Garden next to the old and colourful market of La Boquería, right in the centre of Barcelona.
According to your arrival schedule we can give you a few cultural and musical suggestions for the evening in Barcelona. Always plenty of different choices.
Today we start with a tour to the Barcelona Call or Jewish quarter following our Rasgo tour guide.
A visit to the Call’s interpretation centre, placed at the old house of Yusef Bonhiac, a veil weaver. The centre contains interesting temporary expositions and activities. Also, you will find objects from diggings at the quarter.
Our tour continues at the old Synagogue, main streets in the Jewish quarter and also going up to Montjuïc or Mountain of the Jews, former Jewish graveyard.
In the afternoon, we will enjoy the mix of klezmer, sephardic and folk music from Catalonia with the right explanation about main characteristics, history and anecdotes.
We head up to Besalú, to its ancient and prosperous Jewish community. Famous for their doctors (17 in 14th century), being one of them, Salomó Caravida, the king’s Pedro IV of Aragon’s doctor.
Following our Rasgo tour guide we will visit the Miqwé, or soul purifying baths. One of the best preserved baths in Europe.
Jewish women used to perform this ritual after every menstruation, delivery and before getting married. Also men did the same every week before the Sabbath.
We will take a walk through the 13th Century Synagogue and around the old quarter.
And, to end in the morning we will taste a special Sephardic menu at Curia Reial restaurant (Rasgo) placed in a historical building that represents very well the civil architecture of Besalú from the Romanesque to the Gothic era.
Guided tour through one of the world’s best well preserved Jewish quarters
This “Call” holds also the Museum of the Jewish History that is placed where the last city’s Synagogue was, which was sold to the local priests back in 1492.
You can still see the library, praying room, the school, purification baths and the slaughter house where the rabbi did the sacrifice according to the Jewish laws.
We will also visit the gothic Cathedral the Sant Pere’s Abbey.
At night and before going to bed (Rasgo Hotel Llegendes) we will listen to Sepharazz Mishpahá trio. They have already published two records with Sephardic music and a modern touch; “Kantikas de la Kukuvaya” and “Solombra”.
Departing from Barcelona by Fast train we will have the chance to go from north to south and discover different landscapes in our way to Cordoba, main landmark for the Sephardic culture in Spain.
Arrival and transfer to the Hotel Las Casas de la Judería in the heart of the Jewish quarter.
Cordoba is waiting for us. Let’s follow our Rasgo tour guide and discover the Jewish quarter; the Judios street with its Synagogue, Sefarad House, souk and the Tiberiades square. All these places are part of the essential history where a universal and important person was born: Maimonides. It’s important not to forget other personalities like Hasday Ibn Shaprut, Yehuda ha-Leví or Abraham Ibn Ezrá.
We visit the Sefarad House; cultural centre and museum that contains 5 themed rooms that tells the Sephardic story in the region (1.Domestic life, 2.Women in Al-Andalus, 3.Jewish quarter in Cordoba, 4.Festivities, 5.Music) We will have a special singing tour.
We will end the visit with a workshop to know more about Sephardic music, instruments, where and when was sung….
During the afternon we will visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. This is the most important monument in the Islamic Western and an amazing building.
The history of this construction summarizes the Umayyad, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
And at night we will enjoy a nice dinner together with the music of the band Paramithia (Greek word for stories, fables). They will show us the richness of the Mediterranean sounds and how they mix and create new songs, keeping the spirit of our forefathers. Christos, Greek musician living in Spain, has brought Greek and byzantine traditions to his interest in Sephardic music. He worked as the leading musician for the Cordoba’s Sephardic Museum for 5 years, offering multiple concerts and workshops. His access to the museum’s library has giving him the opportunity to recover a big number of songs.
We will spend the night at the fantastic Hotel Las Casas de la Judería
Way up to Jaen, land of olive trees.
Our Rasgo tour guide will take us through the Jewish quarter of the city, also called Santa Cruz Quarter. These streets became important during the 12 centuries of Jewish presence.
Hasday ibn Shaprut was born here. He was the first Spanish Jew to be important in the history of the country and a relevant courtesan with both caliph; Abderramán III and Alhakén II. Hasday was one of the main supporters of the Three Cultures.
After a delicious Andalusian lunch at the Jaen’s Parador, we will head up to Sefarad’s Pearl: Lucena.
Lucena started to be important from the 11th Century, where the Center for Talmudic Studies was placed. Meeting point for great intellectuals, philosophers, poets and doctors. In 2006 there was found the bigger necropolis in Sefarad with more than 340 graves. This shows how important this community was.
Our guide will take us to the necropolis and the most significant places of Lucena, like San Mateo’s Church where the old Synagogue was built.
For the end of the day we will have the chance to listen, just for us, the Elí Hoshaná Lucena’s City Choir, the only choir in Spain singing, a Capella, Sephardic music. They have been doing research for many years to recover and promote this type of music. Their original arrangements have been heard all around the world.
Its worth listening their record “Perla de Sefarad” (Sefarad’s Pearl) where they included many interesting arrangements after working with the International Jewish Choral Music Archive in New York.
At the Hotel Santo Domingo we will spend the night
We will end our musical journey in one of the most beautiful cities and full of magic in Spain: Sevilla
We will live a special experience: the sound of history in the Jewish Quarter
Historical and musical tour. A new experience that puts together the history of the last Jewish quarter in Seville (Santa Cruz, Santa María la Blanca and San Bartolomé neighborhoods) with live Sephardic music and Flamenco while we walk the streets. We will include instruments like violin, singers and dancers following the rhythm of “Petenera”, a Flamenco style with Jewish influences and Jewish songs from Seville.
During the afternoon we will have the chance to know more about Flamenco in a different and exclusive way. We will learn about its history, roots, styles, dancing. A fantastic and authentic show will close the day at the Casa de la Memoria.
After a day full of emotions time to rest at the Hotel Petit Palace Santa Cruz at the heart of the Jewish quarter.
Farewell and transfer to the airport of Seville.