Coimbra joins European network to promote and study the Jewish presence in the city

Coimbra will participate in the JEWELS TOUR project – JEWish hEritage as Leverage for Sustainable TOURism, under the INTERREG Europe Program 2021-2027.

This project offers the opportunity to develop strategic European networks, enabling the leveraging of the Jewish presence in Coimbra through the consolidation of its studies and the implementation of tourist routes conceived in cooperation with European partners.

This project is led by the Municipality of Ferrara (Italy), with partners including Coimbra, Erfurt (Germany), the Investment and Tourism Agency of Riga (Latvia), Lublin (Poland), the Osrodek “Brama Grodzka – Theater NN” (Lublin, Poland), and, as an advisory partner, the University of Applied Sciences in Breda, Netherlands.

With participation in this project, Coimbra seeks to assert its position in the strategic pillar of “Spiritual and Religious Tourism” in the region – specifically in the municipality – by integrating the city’s Jewish heritage into cultural and tourist routes associated with this theme at the European level.

The Municipality of Coimbra, through the Museology Division, has been conducting research on Jewish history in Coimbra, particularly since the discovery in 2013 of a Jewish ritual bath (mikveh), whose study and rabbinic certification are priorities for the municipality, as it is a unique structure in Portugal, intended for public enjoyment to project Coimbra as an attraction for Jewish tourism.

The mikveh in Coimbra is thus of enormous relevance for understanding the presence of Jewish communities in the city. For this research, a comprehensive team has been formed, including members from various city institutions, responsible for studying, caring for, and promoting the municipality’s heritage.

Existing documents on the Jewish community in Coimbra show that its presence dates back to the Middle Ages, the municipality has considered its positioning in this matter strategic, given the importance of the two Jewish quarters in Coimbra’s history.


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