Rede de Judiarias de Portugal

Turismo do Centro

Interior region that corresponds to the country’s highest mountain, reaches 2000m of elevation.
Around it are located the 12 Portuguese Historical Villages as well as the place of one of the oldest woolen industries in the world.

Border with Spain, the region boasts some of the most significant cities and towns of Portuguese Jewish History. Belmonte (only community in Iberia that resisted organized to centuries of inquisition), Guarda, Trancoso, Covilhã, Pinhel, Penamacor, Fundão, Celorico da Beira, Gouveia, Marialva, Castelo Rodrigo, Almeida, Sabugal and Linhares.
All these urban centers surround the great mountain where its Glacial Valleys are so characteristic. At that time (14th, 15th and 16th Centuries) many of the cosmographers, discoverers and explorers who led the first terrestrial globalization, initiated by Portugal, were from these cities and towns.

Upon the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492), the majority (more than 100 000 estimated) came to Portugal. Of these, about 35 000 used the Vilar Formoso border and many reinforced the communities above referred.
During the 2nd World War, tens of thousands of Jews crossed this border region of Vilar Formoso (Almeida). The visas passed by the consul Aristides Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux became passports to life through what was the greatest individual act of rescue occurred during the conflict.

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