Rede de Judiarias de Portugal



Located in Beira Alta, south of the Douro river, the county of Mêda integrates the territory of five other former counties that were extinct on the 19th century; Aveloso, Ranhados, Casteição, Longroiva and Marialva. Prior to the decree of D. Manuel, dated 1496, is documented the existence of a Jewish quarter in Marialva and there may also have existed a Jewish organization in Mêda and Ranhados. The marks of the new-Christian presence are however disseminated throughout the county.

In the city of Mêda, inside the sacristy of the Mother Church can be found a Shabbat lamp presumably from an ancient synagogue; in Marialva, is evidenced by documents the existence of a Jewish quarter.

About 70 cases of the Inquisition were raised against the inhabitants of the municipality of Mêda. Most of these were against people from Marialva. The most frequent new-Christian surnames in Marialva and Mêda: Nunes, Mendes Soares, Fernandes, Matos and Rodrigues.

Although we can admit an ancient Jewish presence in these lands from the earliest days of nationality, with the creation of probable Jewish communes duly constituted and organized, we cannot find, in the current material evidence and the existing documentation, elements that allow us to identify and characterize these possible spaces and communities with a high level of certainty.

They are, however, the cruciform motifs, which on the assumption of a relationship with Judaism, with the fear of it or with its negation, together with the inquisitorial processes, those elements that can give us some information about the space-time distribution of those communities.

Twenty-three magical-religious symbology marks have been identified, namely cruciform motifs distributed mainly between Ranhados, Marialva, Casteição and Mêda, where 75% of inquisitorial processes concern New Christians, accused of Judaizing practices. Although these elements are also visible in other localities of Mêda, it is in the old medieval villages that we find their greatest concentration.

Despite doubts about the location and paths of Jews and Crypto-Jews in this territory throughout history, their continued presence seems evident, surviving all the constraints imposed on them.

The Jewish community of Mêda has disappeared, leaving behind the material and cultural trace elements that have resisted the passage of time and today are part of the historical and cultural patrimony of this county, which is expected to be unveiled and appreciated.



Município de Mêda
Morada: Largo do Município – 6430-197 Mêda
Telefone: 279 880 040
Fax: 279 882 520
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posto de Turismo de Mêda
Morada: Avenida Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral, 6430-183 Mêda
Telefone: 279 882 937

Posto de Turismo de Marialva
Morada: Marialva, 6430-081 Mêda
Telefone: 279 859 288
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

back to top