Portugal / Norte

Vila Nova de Foz Coa

The small town of Vila Nova de Foz Coa, in north-east Portugal, is famous for its Unesco World Heritage monuments, in particular its Palaeolithic stone carvings.

The Jewish presence here goes back a long way, to at least the 14th century. At that time, the Jews worked mainly in the crafts. The community grew as a result of the Spanish Inquisition and the arrival of many refugees.

The Jewish quarter was located close to the castle, mainly in Rua do Castelo. It was here that the former synagogue became the Santa Quiteria chapel, as its distinctive architecture, close to the styles of Jewish buildings of the time, as well as Hebrew symbols and characters, seem to testify. Many Jews and Marranos suffered persecution at the hands of the Inquisition over the centuries.

Sources : Encyclopaedia Judaica, Rede de Judiarias