Rede de Judiarias de Portugal

Torre de Moncorvo

Torre de Moncorvo

Torre de Moncorvo, a town in Trás-os-Montes situated very close to the Douro River, had a Jewry since the Middle Age. Thanks to D. Dinis, it became one of the seven Jewish autonomous justice administration structures existing in Portugal, which had jurisdiction over Tras-os-Montes. Several other documents prove the reality of the Jewry on the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Jewry was located on the back of the current church of Misericórdia, in the street that came to be known as Rua Nova (New Street). As tradition, the synagogue could be found here, in a house that still exists.

With the expulsion from Spain in 1492, many refugees, at first installed at the fields of Vilariça became inhabitants of the municipality.

After the decree of D. Manuel, already at the time of the new Christians, the town and the county of Moncorvo became one of the most important crypto-jewish centers in the north of Portugal, fact proven by the more than three hundred cases that were held during the inquisition against moncorvenses as well as the tracks and importance that many of them or their descendants had in the history of the Portuguese Jewish diaspora; Manuel Rodrigues Isidro, banker of the king of Spain and his brother Vasco Pires Isidro founded one of the most global commercial companies of Europe (Moncorvo, Madrid, Porto, Rouen, Amsterdam, Hamburg).

Both were persecuted by the Inquisition, and in Hamburg Manuel Rodrigues helped found one of the oldest banks in the world.

The Marranism remained alive in Torre de Moncorvo until the 20th century; a community and a synagogue functioned at that time in a private house next to the mother church.

The great argentine writer and poet Jorge Luís Borges was of crypto-jewish descent from Torre de Moncorvo.

" Nada o muy poco sé de mis mayores
portugueses, los Borges: vaga gente
Que prosigue en mi carne, oscuramente,
Sus hábitos, rigores y temores.
Tennues como si nunca hubieran sido
Y ajenos a los trámites del arte,
Indescifrablemente forman parte
Del tiempo, de la tierra y del olvido.
Mejor asi. Cumplida la faena,
Son Portugal, son la famosa gente
Que forzó las murallas del Oriente
Y se dio al mar y al outro mar de arena.
Son el rey que en el místico desierto
Se perdió y el que jura no há muerto"

in Obra poética, Jorge Luís Borges, 1960



Câmara Municipal de Torre de Moncorvo
Largo Dr. Campos Monteiro
5160-303 Torre de Moncorvo

Tel: 279 200 220
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Loja Interativa de Turismo
Rua dos Sapateiros, nº 15
5160-278 Torre de Moncorvo

Tel.: 279 252 289
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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