This region is both vast and varied. There are long stretches of beach, mountains, numerous medieval castles and urban centres.

As the medieval cities of Guarda and Obidos testify, Jewish life here goes back a very long way. Traces of Judaism can still be found in the streets of Castelo Branco and Almeida, which was a crossroads for exodus, particularly during the Inquisition. Coimbra, an important place for Jewish studies before the Inquisition, kept this role thanks to its courageous university during the dark hours. In terms of travel, Jewish scientists and navigators from Covilha took part in maritime explorations. In Leiria, Abraham Zacuto published his scientific almanac.

But Portuguese Jewish history is also contemporary. This is thanks above all to the revival of Portuguese Judaism following Samuel Schwarz’s discoveries in Belmonte and Tomar. You can read an interview with his grandson on the page dedicated to Tomar. There is also a Jewish interpretation centre in Trancoso and one in Vila Cova.

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