Rede de Judiarias de Portugal


Seia received from D. Afonso Henriques one of the oldest Portuguese charters, from 1136. On the 19th century, the county was extended, encompassing the territory of the former municipalities of Alvôco da Serra, Loriga, Vila Verde, Santa Marinha, Sandomil, São Romão, Valezim, Vide, Vila Cova à Coelheira e Torroselo.

The city of Seia, located in Serra da Estrela, stands out historically for the work of the wool industry, presumably encouraged by the presence of new Christians in the county. The existence of many cruciforms engraved in portals throughout the whole county, which do not indicate presence prior to the expulsion decree of D. Manuel, seems to confirm the presence of new-Christians.

More than a hundred cases of the Tribunal of the Holy Office were brought against residents or natives of Seia. The male professions of many of these defendants confirm their connection to the wool industry; carders, merchants of woolen cloths, paneiros(PT), ragpickers and weavers. Also doctors, another common profession for Portuguese Jews and new Christians were found.

The oldest known case is of Mestre Rodrigo in 1541, physicist (doctor) from Seia, son of Abraão Benaz and Lediça (Still had Jewish names). His daughter, born in 1522, also in Seia, came to be accused in 1572.



Seia, land border, here is life and history, both Christians and Jews, as Muslims and "knights". They belonged to almost all the couples who, in the Middle Ages, used to explore agriculture, cattle raising, sheep and goats.


Seia was a first, of a vast area, a being dominated in a definitive way by the Christians who made hers a stronghold.


It will be difficult, if not impossible, to portray a history of the Council of Seia, be it civil, political, religious or scientific, without tripping with some echo related to Judaism. However, it is impossible to define a concrete date for the presence of this people by these lands, because it is estimated that even before the formation of the Kingdom of Portugal there would already be a Jewish presence. With certainties, it can be affirmed that it was a favourable presence and very contributory for the development of the community.


In general, their passage through Senna's lands was positive and despite some difficulties they were able to enjoy moments of peace and fullness. In the period comprising the Middle and Modern Ages this people could blend with the rest of the population as a demonstration of the Jewish legacy left by these people throughout the region, which is visible on the inheritance built with typical Jewish marks, buildings that tell their History, customs and traditions that are still alive in some localities.






Historical Area of Seia / Referred Jewish Trademarks in the Municipality







back to top