City of Sculptures
Madrid Tour Options:
Jewish Heritage and General Madrid
Madrid Museums Tour (Prado & Reina Sofia)
Day trip to Toledo
Day trip Segovia and Avila
Capital of Spain and its largest city, Madrid is also the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin. The city has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Royal Theatre with its restored Opera House, the BuenRetiro Park, the 19th century National Library building and the Golden Triangle of Art Museums: the Prado, the Reina Sofía, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become the symbols of the city but perhaps the most striking feature of Madrid is the tremendous number of outdoor sculptures, belonging to a wide array of traditions, periods and styles.
The history of Madrid Jewry is much like the history of Jews elsewhere in Spain, consisting of periods of great development interspersed with periods of severe persecution. Though a thriving center of Jewish life during the Middle Ages, Madrid’s community was expelled in 1492 along with all Jews in Spain. Only during the mid-19th century did Jews begin to return to Madrid and establish what is today, along with Barcelona, one of the two largest Jewish communities in the country. Our tours explore Madrid’s central neighborhoods, which were once the Jewish quarter of the city.
The city is home now to a Jewish community that is thousands strong, which maintains several synagogues as well as a Jewish day school. Madrid is also notable in modern Jewish history as the site of the 1991 peace talks between Israel, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestinians. Another great point of interest is that national institutions here hold centuries-old Jewish texts not to be found anywhere else in the world.