ROOTS OF SEFARAD

Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Vila Nova de Foz C├┤a (W)


Paleolithic art

Beginning in the 14th century there was a dynamic Jewish community here, made up primarily of craftsmen.  The following century this population grew even bigger with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.  Even today, among the region's most popular local crafts, there is still a tradition of manufacturing articles from iron, brass and other metals, a craft which is essentially of Jewish origin.

However, the town is best known for the Côa Valley Paleolithic Art site, the biggest open air site of Paleolithic art in Europe, if not in the world. Discovered in the late 1980s, it comprises thousands of engraved drawings of animal, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years B.C.E.  It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

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