Rede de Judiarias de Portugal


The city of Elvas, UNESCO World Heritage, was during the Middle Age one of the most populated in Portugal.
The influence of Arabs and Jews, with the existence of mosques and synagogues contributed to this importance.
The vast historic center is surrounded by walls, in fact, one of the most imposing and significant in the country.
 Since 1386 there is documentary evidence about the existence of jewish Quarters. The National Library songbook includes love songs, written by the jew Vidal proven earlier (1320-1340).

 Moir, e faço dereito,
 que me trage tolheito,
com'a quem dam as ervas.
Des que lh'eu vi o peito
branco, dix'às sas servas:
- A mia coita nom há par,
ca sei que me quer matar;
e quero eu morrer por ela,
ca me nom poss'en guardar.
Amor hei por ~Ua dona d’Elvas.

The first Jewish Quarter (existed since the Islamic period), already designated in the 14th Century as “Old”, was located next to the ancient medina of the city and reflected the environment of Arab urbanism.
Corresponds to current João de Olivença Street and included those of Sapateiros and Aires Varela.
At this time, was focusing in this area the economic core of the village anchored mainly in the Açougues Street (old Mercadores street). This was the axis of artisans and merchants. The community cemetery was located outside the wall near Olivença door.

From the 14th and 15th Centuries, developed the New Jewish Quarter, now centered in a double axis whose economic dynamics remains today: corresponds to the Carreira/Olivença and Alcamim Streets.
In 1513, Elvas acquired City status, in 1527 became the 5th most populous of Portugal and in 1570 ascended to the seat of Catholic bishopric.
On this date had already begun the period of the Inquisition that would achieve more than a thousand lawsuits against New Christians making the city one of the most battered in the country. In Vila Boim existed a third Jewish Quarter.


-    Castle
-    Walls
-    Historic Center
-    Jewish Quarter
-    Amoreira Aqueduct
-    St. Luzia fortification
-    Graça fortification


Tourism Office – Elvas
Praça da República
7350-127 Elvas
Telephone: 268 622 236

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