The Pearl of Sefarad.


Strolling through southern Spain, we find ourselves in the province of Córdoba one of the nerve centers of Judaism in the country. This point was found in the town of Lucena, which was so important that it was known as "La Perla de Sefarad".
Sefarad is the Hebrew name of Spain, as it appears in the Talmud, and so they call themselves Jews born in the Hispanic country, Sephardic or Sephardic. But, what importance reached the city of the province of Cordoba to be called as such?
The period of splendor of the Pearl of Sepharad is between the IX-XII centuries. It was known as the "city of the Jews" where during those three centuries Lucena was a great cultural center. From the 9th century, there began to be a great literary, poetic and cultural production at Córdoba levels during the Caliphate of Córdoba. All this thanks to the Academy of Talmudic Studies, place of great intellectuals, philosophers, poets and doctors of the moment. People like Jehudah has Levi and Abraham Ibn Ezra and even Maimonides, among many other poets and rabbis lived in it. This city received a great influx of Hebrews fleeing the persecutions of Granada and Cordoba throughout the eleventh century, which coincided with the economic and cultural takeoff of the city, when it began to be called as "Perla de Sefarad".
The greatest curiosity is that it can not be said that there was a Jewish neighborhood in Lucena, but that the city itself had a Jewish majority, walled and with independence during the Caliphate or Almoravid occupation. This Jewish area was led by a rabbi and on the outskirts of the wall were Muslim slums, which were forbidden to enter the Jewish city. These Jews not only lived on cultural splendor but also lived off agriculture (especially vineyards and olive groves), using techniques imported from Babylon and North Africa, but also engaged in textile activities (wool, cotton and silk) ) and dry cleaning.
But after the Almohade invasion in the middle of the 12th century, the decadence of Lucena began, where the Jews were forced into exodus. These expelled Jews were expelled to Christian lands and the great majority settled in Toledo. And after the Reconquest of Cordoba many returned, but after the expulsion of the Jews of 1492 and the obligation to the conversion to Christianity of those who remained in Spain, many Jewish converts went to live in Lucena especially in the 16th century to remember their ancestors and the glorious past tense that the Pearl of Sepharad lived.
In the 12th century the Jewish domination over Lucena ended, but there are still great traces of the Hebrew past of the city of Cordoba. Also, if you want to know more about the influence and events related to the Jews in the History of Córdoba, you just have to join us in our free tours. You can book on the web and you will see us every day at Puerta de Almodóvar at 11:00 hours.
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