Rede de Judiarias de Portugal

Évora

Capital city of Alentejo whose historic center is considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
During the Middle Age Évora was the second Portuguese town and also because of its importance the Court often gathered here. Due to this fact, the local Jewry was one of the largest in the country. In the 14th Century was requested its expansion.


The Jewish heritage of Évora is now patent in a wide range of gothic ogival portals located near Giraldo’s Square, place of an annual fair since 1275 (Streets of “Reimondo”, “Moeda”, “Alcounchel”, “Palmeira”, “Mercadores” (now Republic) and “Tinhoso”.
In the 15th Century the Jewish Quarter had two synagogues and all services related to a wide community: school, hospital, mickvé (place of ritual baths) and even then there would have been a “gafaria” (leprosarium).
The Public Library has rarities such as the famous Almanach Perpetuum from Abraham Zacuto (printed in Leiria in 1496 and then translated by Master Jose Vizinho) and the Nautical Guide (1516), works that contributed to the Portuguese scientific advance on Europe.


Évora also hosted one of the seven legal ombudsmen (Portuguese Jewish Courts). The city was also home of one of the courts of the Inquisition in Portugal, more precisely, the one that processed the most prosecutions for Judaism (around 9500).
The Court and the Inquisition Palace are in front of the Museum of Évora and in the doors, even today, we can see the coat of arms of the Inquisition.

 

PLACES TO VISIT:
-    Historic Center and wall (World Heritage)- Centro Histórico e muralhas(Património Mundial)
-    Roman Temple – Templo Romano
-    Jewish Quarter – Bairro Judeu
-    Évora’s Museum – Museu de Évora
-    Gothic heritage (Mudejar) – Herança Gótica (Mudejar)
-    Inquisition Palace – Palácio da Inquisição
-    Nautical Guide of Évora – Guia Náutico de Évora
-    University – Universidade
-    Cathedral – Catedral
-    Bones Chapel – Capela Bones
   

It is in the 14th century that D. Dinis definitively prescribes the indications of the Lateran Council, fully assuming the physical separation between Christianity and ethnic minorities.

Since the reign of D. Afonso III (died in 1279) the Jewish population had been transferred to different neighborhoods. In Évora, the first record of such dates back to 1331, with the new Jewish quarters being mentioned, below the Great Square.

This space, wedged between the streets of Serpa Pinto and Raimundo, had countless additions throughout its almost 150 years of existence, being documented the one of 1408, when three streets are withdrawn to Christianity to increase the space of the commune.

As a residential neighborhood, its epicenter was next to the Synagogue, located in the current Baron Street, where one can still observe an arch with the mark of the mezuzah, at the top of a quarter that represented the true core of the jewish space, whit an hospital and the midrash.

The commune would still have its own commerce space, today the Merchants Square, and would be surrounded by a fence in which there where four doors, allowing access to the remaining urban space.

Currently, there is little left of this old neighborhood. The marks of the old Jewish commune, which was successively decharacterized after the Edict of Expulsion of 1496, are diffused, camouflaged or even nonexistent. The urban layout, the toponymy, and the ambience of a singular space remain as such in the present Historic Center.

 

Tourism Office –Évora
Praça do Giraldo, 73
7000-508 ÉVORA
Telephone: 266777071

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