Rede de Judiarias de Portugal

Lisbon and Vale do Tejo

The presence of Jews in Portugal was consolidated mainly in the 15th Century. Lisbon, increasingly cosmopolitan and mercantilist saw so enhanced its Sephardic component. In 1446, this community had more than 1100 people and fifty years later more than 1900.

In a major tourist region that begins in the city of Tomar, passing through Ribatejo and Lisbon and ending in Setúbal, there were several and important concentration centers of Portuguese Jews. Although far from the border and beyond the country’s capital developed Santarém (then the fourth national city), Setúbal, Tomar, Torres Novas, Abrantes and Sintra with only a small street.
In Lisbon’s downtown (S. Domingos Church Square) there’s a memorial that recalls the Easter “Progrom” from 1506, happened before the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal. Encouraged by two Dominican friars a crowd of five hundred people massacred hundreds of Jews and New Christians throughout the whole city.

The king D. Manuel, absent from the city, ordered the punishment of the murderers and the hanging of the two friars.
The novel by Richard Zimler, “The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon” focuses on these facts referring the Alfama district (where there was a Jewish Quarter) and the Kabbalistic School of the city.
back to top