Historical Villages Portugal Tours: Belmonte & Trancoso
This is a very interesting tour. 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 the Christian religion and the difficult moments of the Inquisition. If you’re looking for Jewish Portugal Tours full of history, this is the one for you!
In Belmonte, we will find the sole Jewish population that survived intact until now in the Iberian Peninsula.
Belmonte Castle, dating back from the 18th 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 15th 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 the 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 whereof the old Jewish Quarter is located. 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.
At the end of the day, our Tour will be finished. Return to Lisbon with drop off at the Hotel.
If you’re looking for different Jewish Portugal Tours, make sure to have a look at our Jewish Tour Lisbon option.