Don't Miss Historical Jewish Sites on a Tour of Portugal by Europetoo and Isramworld

July 22, 2014 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
July 22, 2014 - Those interested in indulging an interest in religious history on a tour of Portugal, are now afforded that opportunity from EuropeToo, an Isramworld company, and their vacation package of Portugal that includes a focus on the rich, but turbulent Jewish history of the Iberian Peninsula. Although there is little historical evidence, communities of Jews are said to have lived in the area since before the Christian era, before Portugal was a country, and co-existed with Christians and Muslims following the Moorish invasion in 711.

In the 15th century, the Inquisitions in Spain and Portugal were perilous times for the Jewish population; some left the country and others converted to Christianity. Many were persecuted and killed; and great synagogues became Christian churches. Hebrew books and culture were destroyed. During that time, a number of Jews adopted the Christian faith publicly, but continued their historic worship in secret. Most of the Crypto-Jews eventually left the country, many emigrating to Brazil.

In 1904, the Lisbon Synagogue was inaugurated, the first to be built in Portugal in about 500 years. Today, on a tour in Portugal, it is possible to visit not only the historic Jewish sites, but to see and experience Jewish contributions to art, architecture, science, culture and commerce over the the centuries. The Synagogue of Tomar, a medieval structure built specifically for worship, was restored through private funds in the early years of the 20th century. It also houses a small museum, and is a sobering reminder of the long history of a persecuted people.

It is possible to visit other historical sites in Lisbon and Porto, as well as Lagos and Faro in the Algarve. World Heritage Site Evora also has a number of relics in its public library, including Hebrew manuscripts from as early as the 13th century.

Since 1967, Isramworld has grown from a one-destination tour company, that specializie in tours to Israel, to become one of the largest tour operators in North America. As a member of the United States Tour Operators' Association, all tourists via Isramworld and its sister company EuropeToo are protected by the $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. Discover what seasoned tour travelers have already experienced, a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience via Isramworld.

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