Sail the Iberian Peninsula - 2019

GRANADA

A little history Granada The Moors captured Spain in 711 and when they reached Granada they found a thriving culture of Sephardic Jews. The Moors of that period considered Jewish adherents to be “people of the book” and they were not reviled or removed. For many years the two religions co-existed in the city with the Jewish sector acknowledging the political power of the Moorish emirs and the Moors allowing the Jews to pursue their own way-religiously, commercially, artistically and philosophically. All good things usually to come to an end, and this peaceful co- existence period is no exception. When Jewish people began to show restlessness under Moorish rule, an unfortunate leader picked a fight injudiciously and that was the end of the Golden Age of the Sephardic Jews in Granada, though they were still tolerated, taxes and other restrictions were placed upon them. When Ferdinand and Isabella established the Roman Catholic religion and their own monarchy after 1492, both Jews and Muslims were expelled from Spain. Conversion was offered and a few from both religions accepted that choice, but it was an uneasy compromise that rarely worked well for the “conversos” whose sincerity was never really accepted. Very few Jews still live in Spain today (a little less than 1% of total population) and the descendants of the Moors (less than 2%) are few and far between as well. However, reminders of the lengthy Moorish occupation of Spain are very much present in Spain today. This lovely Spanish town is named after the delicious fruit “Pomegranate” probably because of the vibrant colors seen all over town as well as the sweet taste of the wines and foods of this area of Spain. Unfortunately, we were not treated to warm Spanish temperatures and sunshine. Instead our day here was rainy, overcast, and chilly, especially for some of us who had not come prepared for this kind of weather. We had raingear but insufficiently warm clothes even though we layered with everything we brought. The streets were very crowded and the pretty paving stones were somewhat slick. But refusing, to be cowed or discouraged, we continued exploring the city of the Alhambra and other delights.

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