ROOTS OF SEFARAD

Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Castelo de Vide (W, SP)


CasteloThe medieval castle overlooking this town gave it its name.  From the top, Spain—Portugal’s arch-enemy for centuries--can be seen in the distance.  This proximity enabled thousands of Jews fleeing Spain in 1492 to settle here, and the population of the town mushroomed.  The medieval Jewish Quarter, with its small typical houses lining the steep narrow cobbled streets, is in the oldest part of Castelo de Vide. There is Jewish influence in the street names too, such as Rua das Espinosas - named after the 17th Century philosopher Spinoza, son of a local resident. The 13th-century synagogue—the oldest in Portugal—has recently been restored and is now a Jewish museum.

 

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Jewish Castelo de Vide