Rede de Judiarias de Portugal

Lamego

Since the 14th century the Jews from the then important town of Lamego occupied the area between the Castle and the “Santa Maria de Almacave” church. In the next century there were already two Jewish quarters; the oldest was located next to the “Sun door” and the new one near the churchyard.


In this quarter was located the synagogue in the old “Rua da Esnoga”. In 1436, the number of inhabitants in those two areas exceeded the 400.
Despite the catholic religious importance of Lamego, that number is extremely significant. As of D. Duarte’s reign, the two quarters were closed at night by doors placed for that purpose. These were respectively located in the street that opened to the Trade Square and in one that opened to the “Almacave’s” churchyard.
The current “Rua Nova” corresponded to the first case (plus “Rua da Fonte Velha”, “Rua da Seara” and “Rua da Cruz”) and even came to occupy “Rua do Almacave”.


In “Rua Nova” (old Jewry new) we can see a characteristic granitic ogival portal (now with a Christian inscription). It may have been here where the old synagogue was located. The importance of Lamego is already attested in 1139 because of the famous “Cortes” (met in Almacave’s church) where the king Afonso Henriques was hailed king of Portugal. The diocese of the city is earlier because it exists since the year 570 (“S. Martinho de Dume”).
“José de Lamego”, Jewish cobbler, received from “Pêro da Covilhã”, in Cairo, the information that allowed D. João II to know all the data about the East African, Arabic and Indic coasts that permitted the launch of Vasco da Gama’s trip.

 

Lamego

The history and legacy of Jewish presence in the city

Ricardo Teixeira

The history of Lamego - an Episcopal see and important urban centre of the Douro - has been associated with its immense Jewish community, which was responsible for the trade and craft dynamics that livened up the city in the late Middle Ages.

Documents reveal many Jewish names: merchants, weavers, tailors, doublet-makers, shoemakers, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and physicists...

The Benveniste, Cide, and Valencim families stand out among the elite, the latter of which is also associated with medicine and represented by MSc Jacob Valencim, optician and surgeon to Prince Henry the Navigator.

The Borough, which was governed by the Charter of Donation from King John I and ruled by its Rabbi and administrative officers, became a part of the city’s regular lifestyle, where many of its members had municipal jobs, such as notaries, attorneys, and servants to the King.

The urban area shows the existence of two Jewish Quarters right outside the city’s walled perimeter, in trade and circulating areas.

The oldest one was called Old Jewish Quarter or ‘fundo da cidade’ (back of the city) and it reports to the late 13th century. Located next to Porta do Sol (sun door), it was a part of the origin and consolidation of the main medieval artery connecting the Castle to the See - currently Rua da Olaria, former Shoe Repair Shop.

The Large Jewish Quarter, or Jewish Quarter of Pedra - with a reported synagogue -, appeared in the late 14th century due to population growth and was later on extended after the arrival of Castilian families. It occupied the current Rua Nova and surrounding alleys, next to the Church of Almacave and the district’s old civic and shopping centre, which is now known as Praça do Comércio.

 

PLACES TO VISIT:
-    Douro River (High Wine Region) – World Heritage  - Rio Douro (Região Demarcada do Vinho) - Património Mundial
-    Castle and cistern – Castelo e Cisterna
-    Jewish Quarter – Bairro Judeu
-    Museum of Lamego – Paintings by Grão Vasco, Flemish Tapestries - Museu de Lamego - Pinturas de Grão Vasco, tapeçarias flamengas
-    St. António de Ferreirim – paintings “Masters Ferreirim” - St. António de Ferreirim  pinturas "Mestres de Ferreirim"
-    Cathedral – Nasoni’s fresh – Sé Catedral
-    N.Senhora dos Remédios Sanctuary  - Santuário de N. Senhora dos Remédios
-    Poço’s house’s Windows - Janelas da casa do Poço
-    St. Maria Maior from Almacave’s church – Igreja de Santa Maria Almacave

 

TourismOffice – Lamego
Avenida Visconde Guedes Teixeira (EN2)
5100-074 Lamego
Telephone: 254 612 005

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