Jewish Culture Private Tour
Our tour starts in the morning towards Tomar, town well known for its strong connection to the Knights Templar since the beginning of XII century. As it must to build your castle and convent that grew into the headquarters of this religious order, later transformed into the Order of Christ that drove the Portuguese discoveries. With the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the city had a good synagogue welcomed much of artisans, professionals and merchants refugees. The Jewish settlement gave new meaning to Tomar and was vital to the success of Discovery`s.Getting there we will visit the original synagogue, built by Prince Henry, and Convent of Christ.After our visit, we will continue our tour to Belmonte, earth deeply connected to the Jewish people and the Sephardic Jewish history, associated with the resistance of the Jews to religious intolerance in the Iberian Peninsula. In the sixteenth century, during the period of inquisition Jewish people were forced to convert or leave the country. Many abandoned, and others converted to Christianity in official terms, keeping their worship and cultural traditions within the family. But a third group of Jews, took a more extreme measure. Several decided to isolate themselves from the outside world, cutting off contact with the rest of the country and follow their traditions strictly. This group of Jews who took their religion until the end were called “Marranos“, alluding to ritual prohibition against eating pork. For centuries the Marranos of Belmonte maintained their Jewish traditions almost intact, making it an exceptional case criptojudaica community. Only in the 70s the community established contact with the Jews of Israel and officiated Judaism as their religion. In 2005 the city opened the Jewish Museum of Belmonte, the first of its kind in Portugal, showing the traditions and the day-to-day of this community, who gladly will visit to find out more about this community full of customs and Jewish traditions. But Belmonte has strong roots with an important character of discovery. We can still see the house where Pedro Alvares Cabral, the explorer who discovered Brazil was borned, the castle ruins and the olive oil museum.Leaving Belmonte we head to Castelo de Vide,a very important city during the period of the Inquisition in Spain. This city as Belmonte the grew with the coming of the Jewish people who were keeping their customs and traditions up to the present day. In Castelo de Vide we visit the synagogue, the jewish quarter and the Castle, which still has its Burgh well preserved . Then Return to Lisbon.