Rede de Judiarias de Portugal


Border town with Spain and located along the Coa river, Sabugal has Jewish presence confirmed since the 16th Century.
Dozens of Jewish/religious brands and cruciforms persist in the historic center very close to the castle.
The same happens outside the walls near the Misericórdia area and the former headquarters of Vila Maior and Vila do Touro.
At “Casa do Castelo” (the square attached to this) and in another one, along the wall there are two “Hejal” (Aron ha Kodesh) different but both with the same purpose to allow, after the disappearance of the synagogues (1496) the possibility of secret praying to God following the Jewish guidance.

In Sabugal 143 inquisition processes were raised against residents (Jorge Martins). Most of them with the complaint of Judaism.
In Vila Maior (24 km Sabugal) the Jewish Quarter corresponded to the highest zone of the village where was located a synagogue, a place that today preserves a “Hejal” and different entry to men and women. Various symbols are shown written in the stone.
In Vila do Touro (10 km Sabugal) the “Rua Direita” and “D. Pedro Alvito” streets have some Manueline windows, beveled doors and also cruciforms.


Due to its proximity to the frontier, the Sabugal region received Jewish communities banished from the neighboring kingdom of Castile in 1492. The documentation of the 15th century proves a well-organized presence in the village of Sabugal, such as the mention of the Castilian Rabbi and physicist Juda Corcoz and other modest individuals, such as tailor Jaque Mel and cobbler Isaac Verdugo.

After the decree of D. Manuel I of 1496, these communities chose to leave the country or to convert to the Christianity. Those who remained kept their Judaizing practices secretly, and so between 1544 and 1795, more than a hundred cristãos-novos fell into the hands of the Inquisition in the village of Sabugal. In memory of the presence of these Jewish communities in Sabugal, there is today an interpretative space of the Jewish Memory, next to the castle.
Detecting today the testimonies of their hidden religious life is an impossible mission. Among the most quoted traces of this past is the tradition of Jewish inspiration to mark the jambs with a cross, adopted by all Christians since the 16th century, to the point that, to disguise themselves among the population, some individuals of the crypto-Jewish community have resorted to it. Numerous granite wall closets are known, which are related, by some authors, with the Jewish cults, but which have been used only to conceal the ritual of the Shabbat candles.


-    Castle – Castelo
-    Hejal in Castle House - Hejal na Casa do Castelo
-    Medieval Synagogue in Vilar Maior  - Sinagoga Medieval em Vilar Maior
-    Jewish/religious marks – Marcas Judaicas/religiosas
-    Historic village of Sortelha – Vila Histórica de Sortelha
-    Vila do Touro Manueline Windows – Janelas Manuelinas Vila do Touro
-    Village of Alfaiates – Aldeia de Alfaiates
-    Municipal Museum – Museu Municipal


Tourism Office – Sabugal
Largo S. Tiago
6320-447 Sabugal
Telephone: 271 750 080

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