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 A tour of Jewish Porto
This booklet gives us an overview of the Jewish heritage in Porto, Portugal.
It is also a historical account of their presence in Portugal, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
european institute of cultural routes
Anna Branicka
01 September 2009
Support: brochure
Media's author : Tourism office, Rua Clube dos Fenianos, 25, 4000-172 Porto - Portugal
Language : English
Editor : Carla Miranda, Associaçao Cultural, As Boas Raparigas
Publishing year : 2003

This 27-page-long booklet contains several photographies as well as a map of Porto.
The Jewish presence in the territory that was to become Portugal dates back to time immemorial, from the several thesis that mention the times of Nechubadrezzar, the Phoenician commercial expeditions and the reign of King Solomon, to facts, such as the beautiful 10th-11th centuries “muesajes? (lyrical poems).

It is essential to understand that the Jews were a determining factor in the economic, financial and administrative structure of the Arab society and of its eclectic culture, and were later the bridge between the Christian and Arab societies. A great neutral power, they enabled a rather peaceful transition at various levels when the Christians rose to power and thus preserved their privileged situation. As a matter of fact, Hebrew authors used the expression “Sepharadh? to refer to the Iberian peninsula, thus obtaining the designation “Sephardim?, originally the Jews from the peninsula whose cultural Diaspora – which spread to south-western Europe after the expulsion – comprised numerous liturgical rites, practices and characteristics quite different from those of the Ashkenazim, the Jews from central Europe, that is, from Poland to Russia. This dichotomy still endures. In the Modern Ages, expressions such as “Jews? and “Portuguese? were often synonyms, which clearly shows the peninsula’s importance and above all the dimension of the Portuguese culture, which has spread to every continent with the “New Christian? Diaspora.

The booklet is divided into several chapters, i.e.:

1) Origins
2) The Middle Ages Jews
3) The Modern Age New Christians
4) The Jewish renaissance 20th century
5) Porto Introduction
6) Tour

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