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Jewish Heritage in Portugal

By We Love Small Hotels | 04 December 2019

Between the 5th and 15th centuries, the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula, also known as Sephardic, began to inhabit the territories of Portugal and, consequently, to influence the Portuguese culture.

The history of the Jews in Portugal is extremely important, as it was in many ways that this community contributed to the development of the country and its achievements, namely the Portuguese Discoveries, that allowed the country to explore countries that were not yet known by the most western peoples.

Today the Jewish heritage is present in various regions of the Portuguese territory, where it is possible to discover the presence of this community that was forced to convert to Christianity, leave the country or keep its faith secret, leaving behind marks and inscriptions that symbolize this time and which can still be seen carved in the houses of the ancient Jewish community. Many of these remains are in Belmonte and Castelo de Vide.

To discover this magnificent heritage, we have handpicked a selection of the most charming cities, towns, and sites including Belmonte, where is located the sole Peninsular community legitimately heir to the ancient historical presence of the Sephardic Jews. Together with this, stay in charming hotels for you to indulge the historical journey through the country.

Our tour starts in Lisbon where a guide will show you the history and hidden gems of the Jewish presence in Lisbon and then you will go centre and south, to discover Belmonte, Castelo de Vide and Marvão.

In Belmonte, sleep at Belmonte Convent, once a convent dating from the 7th century and get to know the most important Jewish community in Portugal which hosts one of the 4 synagogues in the country. In Castelo de Vide you will find one of the most romantic villages in Portugal which also hosts impressive Jewish sites that you will visit on a guided tour, so hidden details stay uncovered, and after that follow the lavender scent toward Quinta das Lavandas, one of the main producer of lavender in the country. Before your return to Lisbon, visit Marvão, the walled village on the top of São Mamede mountain range, that offers stunning views of border Spain.

Discover all the details of our tour here: The Jewish Heritage in Portugal