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Monday, March 26, 2018

Sephardic Heritage Trip 2018/5778: Day 6 - Seville

Though we lost an hour when they changed the clock last night, we still departed from Gibraltar bright and early. We thought we made great timing when we crossed the border without incident, but then our bus broke down as soon as we got into Spain. We made up for our lost sleep while we waited for a new bus, but then we were off to Seville. 
We started our day at Plaza de Santa Cruz the site of a church that had been a mosque that was given to the Jews to use as a synagogue in 1248. Then we went down into a parking garage which was built on the site of an ancient Jewish cemetery. Though most of the graves were destroyed, one remains there. The bones that were exhumed were never reburied and our guide Moses is fighting the legal battle to have them returned to Kever Yisrael. 
Then we walked through the old city of Seville towards Alcazar - the palace of King Pedro. Along the way we saw evidence of Jewish persecution. The majestic palace was built in the 14th century in an Islamic style called “mudejar.” We were in awe of the incredible architecture and loved hearing that they filmed Game of Thrones here. We planned to go to the incredible Plaza de España but it was closed because of the (non-existent) wind. We’ve been told that we need to do a reunion trip because we missed out on something so amazing. 
Then we headed to the station to take the high speed train back to Madrid. In Madrid we checked back into the Novotel and then gathered in the lobby for an inspiring wrap up session. We reflected on our experiences and discussed how the trip impacted our understanding of our background and heritage. It’s crazy to think that we’re going home tomorrow!!!