Jewish Heritage in Portugal – Belmonte

The Jewish people were one of the most important communities in the Iberic Peninsula through Medieval and Modern Age, giving us their great contribution in what concerns to astronomy, which allowed us to start our maritime expansion, as well as their knowledge of medicine and math.

The Portuguese Judaism is unique, surviving in the period of Inquisition with new-Christians practicing the Crypto-Judaism.

This trip will take you to the most remarkable sites of Jewish heritage as Belmonte, Guarda, Trancoso and Penamacor in a unique opportunity to discover its heritage, closely connected to its culture and customs.

Circuit with the author through all the tour – Ricardo Presumido
(Click in the Tab below to read his biography)


1st Day • Lisbon – Castelo Branco – Belmonte

Departure from Lisbon towards Castelo Branco , Capital of Beira Baixa, where the Jewish community quickly developed since 1214, linked to the commercial and crafts traditions. Visit to the House of Jewish Memory, a museum that aims to report the Jewish presence in this city, as well as distinguish some personalities like Amato Lusitano or Afonso de Paiva, among others. We then continue to Belmonte, where an important Jewish community was established, specially in the XV century, when the Jews fled from the persecutions of Castela and took shelter here. Visit to the Jewish Museum of Belmonte which intends to portray, in particular, the history and experience of the crypto -Judaism, the history of the Jews in our country and their valuable contribution in terms of culture, art, literature and commerce.  Kosher wine tasting. Accommodation at Belmonte Sinai Hotel 4*, the first Hotel in Portugal with specific characteristics for the Jewish community, namely in what concerns cuisine. On this day the dinner will be based on kosher cuisine, food prepared obeying the Jewish law.

2nd Day • Belmonte – Guarda – Trancoso – Sabugal – Belmonte

Departure towards Guarda and visit to the historical centre inside the walls of the city, where the old Jewish block still exists today, near the Porta D’el Rei. The Jewish community of Guarda, that during the XIV century had between 600 to 850 people, was, for a very long time, one of the most important Jewish communities in the country, and also one of the oldest. Continuation to Trancoso, a city that is also marked by the Jewish presence, where we will visit the Jewry, the Interpretation Centre “Isaac Cardoso” and the Synagogue “Beit Mayim Hayim”, located in a block of the traditional urban environment inside the walls, in the area where it’s thought to be the Jewry of Trancoso. Highlights to one of the most emblematic buildings of the city, the House of the Black Cat, which has in its façade the Doors of Jerusalem and the Lion of Judah, amongst other sculptures. We then continue to Sabugal, a border town with Jewish presence since the XIII century. Dozens of Jewish/religious marks last in the historical centre in-between walls of the city very close to the castle. Visit to the House of Jewish Memory, that portraits the Jewish presence in the city. Return to Belmonte. Accommodation.

3rd Day • Belmonte – Lisbon

This morning will be dedicated to Belmonte, Portuguese territory of important Jewish presence. Belmonte was a unique case in Peninsular territory, in the permanence of the Crypto-Jewish culture and tradition since the beginning of the XVI century until today. Visit to the castle and, starting from the square, we descend the roman pavement to enter the old Jewry, walking through the houses of streets Direita and Fonte da Rosa, where you can see the thresholds of the small granite houses and marks on the stone, a testimony of these forced Jews to live their religion in secret. Visit to the “Bet Eliahu”, built on a promontory whose internal architectural structure obeys to two traditional postulates: the orientation of the building to Jerusalem and the separation of men and women in the prayer room, the gallery of the upper floor would be the space for women. Visit to the Museum of the Discoveries: to the Discovery of the New World. Return to Lisbon. End of the trip and of our services.

Tour designed by Pinto Lopes Viagens RNAVT no. 2070



• Supplements: Individual room – 50€
• Deposit: 120€

– Circuit in tourism coach;
– Accommodation with breakfast included in the mentioned hotel or similar;
– Full board, since the lunch of the 1st day to the lunch of the last (3 lunches and 2 dinners);
– Drinks at meals;
– Kosher wine tasting;
– Circuit with the author through all the tour – Ricardo Presumido;
– Local guide in Guarda;
– Tickets mentioned in the program;
– Hotel feels, services and VAT.

– Optional, personal extras and everything that is not mentioned as included.

  • This tour is, in general, suitable for people with reduced mobility and/or pregnant. In case of special needs, please contact us;
  • In case of cancellation by client’s decision, he shall be responsible by the costs and charges incurring from the cancelation that are assigned to the agency and result from the non-reassignment of said trip;
  • This trip is only confirmed with a minimum of 25 participants, should it be the case that this number is not reached, the client will be informed within the deadline foreseen in our general conditions.

Historian, postgraduate in Contemporary History by the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, Ricardo Presumido has been dedicated to holocaust Memory and Teaching, being the founder and Vice-President since 2009 of Memoshoá – Memory and Teaching Holocaust Association.

Ricardo Presumido has participated in several national and international congresses on this topic, highlight for its participation in the 8th International Conference: Telling the Story, Teaching the Core that took place in Yad Vashem in Israel, from 18 to 21 June 2012 and also the Conference Portugal and the Holocaust: Learn with the Past, Teach for the Future held on 29 and 30 October 2012 in Calouste Gulbenkian’s Foundation. Throughout its career as a teacher he actively participated in several conferences, and projects on this subject in primary, secondary and university level courses, he was also a guest professor at the Advanced Course in Cultural Memory: The Holocaust Memory in the European Culture from 8 February until 31 march 2012 in the Portuguese Catholic University.

He as also dynamized the Ciclo de Cinema: Image and Memory about the World War Two and the Holocaust that already has 4 editions, a partnership between Memoshoá, the Cascais City Hall and the D. Luís I Foundation.

In the last years, he also organised “seminars on wheels” – historical journeys about the Memory of the Holocaust in Europe, namely in Poland, Germany, Central Europe (Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary), Belgium, Baltic Countries and Italy.