Jewish Tour Lisbon – Day 1
If you’re looking for a Jewish Tour in Lisbon, this is our most complete offer. Our Tour departs from the centre of Lisbon to visit places full of history. Come along and get in touch with the Jewish part of Portuguese culture!
The old Synagogue of Tomar was built in the middle of the XVth century. It ceased to be used as a Jewish temple in 1496 due to the expulsion of the Jews then ordered by D. Manuel I.
In 1923 it was purchased by Samuel Schwarz, who paid for the cleaning and excavation costs, having donated it to the State in 1939, on the condition that a Portuguese and Jewish Museum was created therein. It is believed that the Jewish Quarter was in a street with Closed Doors, with a “guard”, who closed the doors at sunset, and probably opened them at down.
This is a very interesting tour for Jews and not only, as it is aimed at revealing the history of the Sephardic Jews in Portugal and Spain, their contribution to economic, social and cultural progress, the result of their expulsion from Portugal resulting from the denial of Christian religion and the difficult moments of the Inquisition.
In Belmonte we will find the sole Jewish population that survived intact until now in the Iberian Peninsula.
Belmonte Castle, dating back from the XIIIth century, was the residence of Cabral family and the place of birth of Pedro Álvares Cabral (responsible for the discovery of Brazil).
An important Jewish community settled in Belmonte, and it was significantly increased in the XVth century when the Catholic Kings of Spain published the Edict of the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, which would be followed by the king of Portugal in 1496.
The Jewish Museum of Belmonte pays a tribute to all Jews who for centuries resisted to intense persecutions and to their importance in this history of the town itself.
The Discoveries Museum is located in the ground of Manor of Cabrais, the old residence of Cabral family. It takes us in an interactive journey through the 500 years of the discovery of Brazil.
Zêzere’s Eco-Museum occupies another historical building of Belmonte: the old “Tulha” (barn) of Cabrais. With a pedagogical function, it is possible to follow all the course of Zêzere River from its source to its mouth, with details on its flora and fauna.
The Olive Oil Museum presents the techniques of Olive Oil production and the importance it has to the local economy.
Once in Trancoso, we will walk in the streets of the old Jewish Quarter. We can see typical Jewish houses, the Well of the Master and the House of the Black Cat, which is maybe the most emblematic Jewish house in town, where we believe the Rabbi lived and the synagogue of the community was.
The Jewish Culture Interpretation Centre of Isaac Cardoso, a Jewish doctor who lived here in beginning of the XVIIth century, has an exhibition room, a memorial of the victims of the Inquisition and a small synagogue for the cult of the Jewish visitors called ‘Beit Mayim Hayim’ (House of the Living Water), inspired in the Synagogue of Tomar.
The house of the Bandarra, Gonçalo Anes Bandarra, famous poet, prophet and shoemaker who was born and lived in Trancoso, in the XVIth century, he composed songs of divine and prophetic inspiration based mainly on the Old Testament, for which the Holly Office of Lisbon took proceedings against him in 1541.
Already in Castelo de Vide, we will visit the so-called “Synagogue”, but with the appropriate name of “BEIT-HA – MIDRASCH-SEFARDIN”, a place for cult, whose exact foundation date is not known. It is located in Rua da Judiaria, or Rua da Fonte, where we can see the millenary tradition of doorpost marking.
The house of the Tax Collector became of public interest, as he was responsible for collecting the taxes from the Jews, and stored the revenues in his coffer.
The Fountain of the Village is the Ex-Libris of Castelo de Vide. It is integrated into the Jewish Quarter and deserves that we stop, contemplate it and do some reflection.
Again, our Jewish Tour Lisbon ends in Lisbon. At the end of the second day, you return to Lisbon with drop off at the hotel.