Barrio Santa Cruz
Area in Seville
Santa Cruz, is the primary tourist neighborhood of Seville, Spain, and the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city.
The tourist heart of the city, Santa Cruz is home to Seville Cathedral, a Gothic landmark offering views from the Giralda bell tower, and the Real Alcázar, a Moorish-Renaissance palace backed by lush gardens. Other notable places include the baroque Hospital of the Venerables which was originally a home for retired priests and the Archivo de Indias, which houses all maps and documents about Spain’s conquest of the New World.
It is the most picturesque and delightful part of the city. The charm of the Barrio comes from its narrow and winding streets which form a labyrinth. It’s easy to think yourself lost and then you appear next to a orange tree lined square or a palace. Many of the palaces have wrought iron gates ideal for looking into their beautiful patios. There are many small stores and some artisan shops for souvenirs, handicrafts and ceramics.
- Small squares lined with orange trees such as Plaza Doña Elvira.
- Plaza Santa Cruz, with rose beds bordered by hedges and an intricate 17th-century wrought iron cross in the center.
- Callejon del Agua or Water Alley, a narrow, shaded lane which follows the Alcázar garden walls and is named after a watercourse which ran along the top of the wall.
- Plaza Alfaro, inspiration for the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.
- La Cerrajería, which commemorates the church destroyed by the French in 1810.
- The house of Murillo, one of Spain’s most important painters, was born in Plaza Santa Cruz.
- In Plaza Refinadores there is a statue of Don Juan Tenorio, one of Seville’s most famous literary characters.
History of Barrio Santa Cruz
When Ferdinand III of Castile conquered the city from Muslim rule, he concentrated the city’s Jewish population into the walled Jewish quarter. In 1492 the Alhambra Decree expelled the Jews from Spain. A history of these events can be seen in the Museum of Seville’s Jewish history. Some of the churches were originally synagogues. In the 18th century, the neighborhood underwent a major process of urban renewal, including the conversion of a former synagogue into the current Church of Saint Bartholomew.
Visiting Barrio Santa Cruz