Several documents from the 15th century refer to the existence of Jews in the village.
Located on the east facing slope, on a steep and irregular area, the Jewish Quarter includes Rua da Fonte, Mercado, Arçário, Mestre Jorge, Judiaria and Ruinha da Judiaria. All lead to Fonte da Vila, a beautiful fountain from the 16th century, and probably part of the Jewish Quarter.
From the Jewish presence in Castelo de Vide there remain some material testimonies such as the ogival doors of houses and workshops (some with mesusah), the urban plan, the name of the streets and the Medieval Synagogue.
The Medieval Synagogue is a building dating from the 14th century, located at the junction of Judiaria street and Fonte street, east/west orientation, with the mesusah for the Shema Israel on the door of the first floor. Inside, there is the aron kodesh, where the Torah used to be, and it is still possible to see the indentations for the “Holy Oils”. On the left of the aron kodesh there is one bracket, with seven balls, representing the six days when God created the world and the seventh, when He rested.
Today, the Synagogue is a museum where the Jewish community’s way of life and their contributions to the development of the village can be seen, as well as the highlights of Garcia d’Orta, the Diáspora, and the whole of their heritage.
But the cultural richness and the touristic charm of Castelo de Vide onlybegins with the Jewish Legacy. The white houses, the fountains, the noble houses, the gothic doors, the churches, the Castle, the parks and gardens, the beautiful spots of the Medieval Neighbourhood and Canto da Aldeia, the natural setting… are some of the singular values that make Castelo de Vide remarkable.
Welcome to Castelo de Vide!