Jewish Heritage in Portugal – English Version
The Jewish people were one of the most important communities in the Iberic Peninsula during the Medieval and Modern Age, with a huge contribution in what concerns to astronomy, which allowed us to start our maritime expansion, as well as their knowledge of medicine and mathematics.
The Portuguese Judaism is unique, surviving in the period of Inquisition with new-Christians practicing the Crypto-Judaism.
This circuit will take you to the most remarkable sites of Jewish heritage such as Porto, Belmonte, Guarda, Trancoso Castelo de Vide and Lisbon in a unique opportunity to discover its heritage, closely connected to its culture and customs.
Circuit led by the author through all the tour – Ricardo Presumido
(Click in the Tab below to read his biography)
1st Day • Porto
Departure from Porto at 9am to visit the Jewish Museum, where we will learn more about the Jewish culture, history and religion, as well as the history of the Jewish Community of Portugal from the Middle Ages until today. We will continue to the World of Discoveries Museum, an Interactive Museum and Theme Park that re-enacts the fantastic odyssey of the Portuguese navigators, crossing oceans to discover a previously unknown world. Time for lunch in Kosher Bola Falafel Restaurant. Continuation to the Stock Exchange Palace, a neoclassical building, which began to be built on 6th of October 1842, a solemn date when the first stone was placed. Visit to the Porto Kosher Store, placed in Mercado do Bom Sucesso, that was the first grocery store to open in Portugal. Dinner and accommodation at Belmonte Sinai Hotel or similar.
2nd Day • Porto – Belmonte
Departure towards Belmonte, where an important Jewish community was established, especially in the XV century, when the Jews fled from the persecutions of Castela and took shelter here. We will start with a visit to the Jewish Museum of Belmonte which intends to portray, in particular, the history and experience of the Crypto – Judaism and the history of the Jews in our country and their valuable contribution in terms of culture, art, literature and commerce. We will also visit Belmonte’s Castle and the Synagogue “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. The day will end with a Kosher wine tasting. Dinner and accommodation in Belmonte Sinai Hotel 4*, the first Hotel in Portugal with specific characteristics for the Jewish community, namely in what concerns cuisine.
3rd Day • Belmonte – Guarda – Trancoso – Sabugal – Belmonte
Departure towards Guarda, and walking tour through the Jewry with its winding streets with low houses, where we can observe the vestiges of medieval walls and narrow passages that seem to lead to the past. Highlight to the Cathedral, built between 1390 and 1540, similar to a fort with its pinnacles and gargoyles. Continuation to Trancoso, place where in the XV century lived about 700 Jews. Time for lunch. After lunch visit to the House of Bandarra and to the Isaac Cardoso Jewish Interpretation Centre, space of the Old Jewry. We will continue to Sabugal to visit the House of Jewish Memory of the Raia Sabugalense, which intends to portray the Jewish presence in Sabugal and where the visitors are invited to observe some pieces related to the past of the Historical Centre of Sabugal, as well as some graphic content accompanied by texts that recall the present of the Jewish communities in this ancient village, from the medieval to the modern times. We will visit the Castle of Sabugal, a strong fortress built in the 13th and 14th centuries, which has a tower with an unusual height, elegance and shape. Its pentagonal shape, unique format in Portugal, also gives it the name of Castle of the Five Edges. Return to Belmonte for dinner and accommodation.
4th Day • Belmonte – Covilhã – Fundão – Castelo Branco – Marvão
Departure towards Covilhã to visit the Cheese Museum, unique in the region, located in the village of Peraboa, allows the visitors to know the process of manufacturing one of the best cheeses in the world, a delicacy appreciated and recognized internationally. In the Museum it is still possible to know the characteristics of Kosher sheep cheese, produced in Peraboa, in accordance with the principles of the Jewish religion. We will also visit the Old Jewry of Covilhã that was bounded by the current Rua das Flores, Rua do Ginásio Clube, Rua da Alegria, Beco da Alegria and Travessa da Alegria, constituting an area integrated inside of the medieval walls. We will continue to Fundão for lunch. Continuation to Castelo Branco to visit the House of Jewish Memory that aims to tell the story of a community that contributed a lot to the development of the city in the sixteenth century, its memories and the legacy left. Visit to the Old Jewry. Continue to Marvão to dinner and accommodation at Pousada do Marvão.
5th Day • Marvão – Castelo de Vide – Ammaia – Marvão
Departure towards Castelo de Vide. Visit to the Synagogue and Jewry that has developed in the slope of the village through the narrow sidewalks that extend from Porta da Vila (Town Gate), to the Castle, until Fonte da Vila. From the Jewish presence in Castelo de Vide remain some material testimonies, which highlight goes to the building where it is thought the Medieval Synagogue once was. We will have the opportunity to engage in a Workshop of Boleima, traditional Jewish cake. Lunch in Portagem, Marvão. We then continue to visit the old roman city of Ammaia, National Monument since 1949 located in the Natural park of São Mamede Mountain. Return to Marvão. Dinner and accommodation.
6th Day • Marvão – Alpallhão – Nisa – Lisbon
Visit to the city of Marvão, area of convergence of the three religions. Marvão is a beautiful city that presents itself to you in its characteristics of narrow streets and picturesque corners, in the Pelourinho Manuelino, gothic windows and wrought iron balconies. Continuation to Alpalhão where lunch will be held at Quinta das Sagras. Visit to Alpalhão and Nisa, places of Jewish presence. We then continue the trip to Lisbon. Accommodation and dinner in Hotel Vip Executive Art’s, 4*or similar.
7th Day • Lisbon
This day will start with a visit to Lisbon synagogue – Shaaré Tikva Synagogue (Doors of Hope), inaugurated in 1904, temple of the Israeli community of Lisbon, here we will get to know the history of the communities throughout the times, and visit to the old Jewry of Alfama. In the afternoon, continuation for a visit to Terreiro do Paço and Lisbon Downtown until Rossio Square. Visit to the Memorial of Honour to the Victims of the 1506 Massacre, located in the centre of São Domingos square, as a tribute sculpture to the victims of the religious intolerance and fanaticism that culminated in the Jewish massacre of 1506. Visit to the interior of São Domingos’ Church. Possibility to enjoy a Jewish Music concert. Dinner in Lisbon. Return to the hotel and accommodation.
8th Day • Lisbon – Porto
Departure for a visit to Lisbon, capital of Portugal since its conquest to the moors in 1147, Lisbon is a legendary city with more than 20 centuries of history. Visit to the interior of Jerome’s Monastery, classified as UNESCO World Heritage, masterpiece of Manueline architectonical style. Afterwards, visit to the interior of Belem Tower, also classified as UNESCO World Heritage, sixteenth century fortress and the starting point of departure of the vessels and navigators that discovered new worlds to the world. Lunch during the trip. Return to Porto. End of the tour and of our services.
Tour designed by Pinto Lopes Viagens RNAVT no. 2070
- 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.