Penamacor, the land of the famous Jew

Among the mediaeval streets which cross the castle area, you will discover traces of the old Penamacor Jewry.

Among the mediaeval streets which cross the castle area, you will discover traces of the old Penamacor Jewry. Close to the border, this town founded by Gualdim Pais might have been the ideal hiding place for many Jews who, in 1492, were expelled from Spain by the Catholic Kings.

However, what makes Penamacor different from other border towns is not the Jewish traces left by this ancient community, but rather the fact that it was the birthplace of one of the most symbolic figures of 18th century European culture: the doctor and philosopher António Ribeiro Sanches. A New Christian, persecuted for many years by the Portuguese Inquisition for the charge of never having renounced Judaism, he was the doctor of Catherine, the Great and his revolutionary writings transformed medical teaching in Portugal.

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