Lisbon Synagogue

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Synagogue

The Lisbon Synagogue (formally, the Synagogue Shaaré Tikvah (Gates of Hope) is a historical Portuguese synagogue situated in the civil parish of Santo António, in the municipality of Lisbon.

There have been Jews in Lisbon at least since the Middle Ages, but the community suffered a major blow in 1497, when an edict by King Manuel I ordered Jews either to convert to Christianity or to leave the country. All synagogues of Lisbon were confiscated by the King and given to Christian religious orders. For the Jews that converted to Catholicism, called New Christians (cristãos novos), the establishment of the Portuguese Inquisition in 1536 meant a permanent danger of being persecuted. The situation for Judaism in Portugal changed at the beginning of the 19th century, when the Portuguese Inquisition was abolished and Sephardi Jews from Morocco and Gibraltar, mostly merchants, started to migrate to Lisbon and other parts of Portugal. During the whole 19th century, the small Lisbon Jewish community had no formal synagogue and had to celebrate their religious rites in private houses.

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