Portugal / Centro


Porta do Sol, Guarda. Photo by Claudio Franco – Wikipedia

Guarda is known as the highest town in Portugal, situated at an altitude of 1060 metres.

This medieval city boasts a number of buildings, such as the Sé Cathedral, which bear witness to a time when the Jewish presence was significant. This presence probably dates back to the 13th century, when they settled in Rua da Judiaria, now Rua do Amparo. A synagogue was inaugurated at that time. Later, they moved to an area adjacent to Guarda’s walls, near the Porta d’el Rei. A large gate bearing the name of Quatro Quinas marked the entrance to this neighbourhood, which ended near the S. Vicente cemetery. 

The community grew between the 14th and 15th centuries. It numbered 200 at the end of the 14th century and almost 700 half a century later.  The Jews worked in various fields, mainly related to crafts: blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, tailors and above all leather tanners, techniques learnt by the refugees from Salamanca.

Sources : Encyclopaedia Judaica, Rede de Judiarias