Jewish Tour - Lux on Wheels

Jewish Tour

1st day:
Lisbon – Tomar – Castelo Branco – Belmonte (sleep)
2nd day: 
Trancoso – Guarda – Douro – Pinhão/Régua (sleep)

Option (A)

3rd day:
Lamego – Porto (short tour) – Aveiro – Nazaré – Óbidos – Lisbon

Option (B)

3rd day:
Lamego – Porto (sleep)
4th day:
Porto Tour – Aveiro – Nazaré – Óbidos – Lisbon

Highlights:

  • Shaaré Tikva (Lisbon Synagogue)
  • Synagogue of Tomar
  • House of Jewish Memory
  • Jewish Museum
  • Bet Heliahu (Jewish Temple of Belmonte)
  • Kadoorie Synagogue Mekor Haim

Map:

Additional Info:

  • Hotel/Apartment Pick Up;
  • Monuments entrance tickets are not included, so you can decide what you want to visit;
  • We selected some of the sites that we consider the best to fulfill your trip expectations, the tours itinerary is flexible, you can change anything or add something you wish to visit;
  • All the cars provide water for our clients;
  • Tour up to 50 people;

Tour Description:

The Jewish community has been part of Portugal’s history since its foundation in the 12th century. Through a wide range of museums, temples and other historical places this tour offers you the possibility to discover more about an extraordinary culture in a vivid and dynamic way.

This tour starts in Lisbon where you will have the opportunity to visit some of the oldest neighborhoods in town like Alfama (Jewish street), Bairro Alto, S. Domingos Square, Rossio, St George Castel and other historic places where the Jewish memory is still alive.
During the tour we will visit the Shaaré Tikva (“Gates of Hope” in Hebraic), the main synagogue of the Portuguese capital. Here you will find more about the roots of the present Jewish community of Lisbon that has its origin in the groups of Sephardic Jews who settled in Portugal at the beginning of the XIX century.

From Lisbon we departure to Tomar. The origin of the Hebrew community in Tomar dates from the beginning of the fourteenth century. Its rapid demographic growth led to the creation of a Judiaria in Rua Direita (now Dr. Joaquim Jacinto Street), near S. João Square (today Praça da República) and Corredoura. Here we will visit the old synagogue built in the mid-fifteenth century and used as a Jewish temple until 1496 when King Manuel I decreed the expulsion of the Jews. Nearby the temple you can visit other rooms connected with the Jewish cult, namely the room designated for the “mikveh“(the purification bath). We leave Tomar towards Castelo Branco to visit Casa da Memória Judaica (“House of Jewish Memory”), located at Rua das Olarias, to find more about the Jewish presence in this city. To familiarize the visitor with the Jewish culture, this museum exposes a set of objects associated with the Jewish rituals. This is a fantastic place to know more about the history and legacy of a community that contributed a lot to the development of this city in the sixteenth century.

To end the day you’ll visit Belmonte, where the Jewish community resisted for centuries to the expulsion and conversion orders of the Portuguese Catholic King, Manuel I, and to the penalties perpetuated by the Holy Inquisition. In the Jewish Museum of Belmonte you will find historic pieces ranging from Middle Ages to the XX century, used by the Jews and the Cristãos-Novos (“New Christians”, the former Jewish people that was forced to convert to Catholicism) in their daily life and religious practices. Next, we visit the Jewish Temple of Belmonte. This synagogue was inaugurated in 1996 and is oriented to Jerusalem. Its name, “Bet Heliahu”, was given in honor of the Jew who ordered its construction.

The second day you will start to visit Trancoso where in the 15th century existed an important Jewish community which contributed for the development of the local commerce. You’ll also see one of the most emblematic buildings of the village the old synagogue named Casa do Gato Negro (Black Cat House). Leaving Trancoso to visit the historic center of Guarda, one of the oldest and most important places of the Jewish presence in Portugal. Following along the Douro river where you can see amazing landscapes until Pinhão/Régua where you can rest.

In third day you’ll start by knowing that in the XIV century Jews occupied a then important city of Lamego. They were a very important piece of the economic and commercial structure of the city. The main area where the Jewish memory is better conserved is located between the castle and the church of St. Maria de Almacave. Here you will find references of Jewish quarters like Judiaria da Velha, located next to the Porta do Sol (“The Door of the Sun”) near the church of St Maria de Almacave. We then departure to the city of Oporto, home of many Jewish headquarters since the beginning of the XIV century. Besides the historic center of the city we will also visit the Jewish temple, the Kadoorie Synagogue Mekor Haim, the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the largest in Europe. Inaugurated in 1938, this Jewish Temple was built with donations from Jews around the world just before 2nd World War. This religious monument is one of the most extraordinary Jewish houses of worship in the world.

In this tour you have the option to do a short tour in Porto and return to Lisbon or sleep in Porto and then do a complete tour in the following day before coming back do Lisbon, always passing by Aveiro, Nazaré and Óbidos, important places where you can see previous medieval presence and amazing landscapes.

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