HomeLIFESTYLEthe birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral and the Jewish heritage

the birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral and the Jewish heritage

Belmonte is a destination steeped in history. It is the birthplace of the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral and the greatest testimony of the Jewish presence in Portugal.

In the last years, belmonte has been acquiring more and more protagonism, receiving thousands of visitors annually. Over the years, it has become known for its immense heritage and for being directly linked to some important figures in Portuguese history.

Belmonte is seen as the birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral, the Portuguese navigator who discovered Brazil, and retains numerous marks of the Jewish community that settled there. A destination not to be missed, a history lesson worth knowing.

Belmonte: guide to explore the village

The origin of the name Belmonte has at least two theses: one argues that the name comes from the place where the town stands (that is, on a beautiful hill or on a beautiful hill); another thesis is that the name comes from “belli monte”, that is, war mount.

What is certain is that this beautiful and historic village is the ideal setting for a getaway (or even to move your bags and luggage, as it has one of the lowest prices in the country when it comes to buying a house).

What to see

Belmonte’s heritage is very rich and there are several places that you can visit and be enchanted. Among them are the Belmonte Castle and the Centum Cellas Tower.

The religious architecture of the Igreja Matriz de Belmonte, the Igreja de Santiago (and the Panteão dos Cabrais), the Capela de Santo Antão and the Bet Eliahu Synagogue (Belmonte has one of the largest Jewish communities in the country) is a good example of the quality and beauty of the village buildings.

Other interesting spaces are the Solar dos Cabrais, the Old Town Hall, the statue of Pedro Álvares Cabral and the Pelourinho de Belmonte. Another space that is of great interest to anyone visiting Belmonte is certainly the Villa da Quinta da Fórnea (set of Roman ruins dating back to the 2nd century and discovered in 1999).

What to do

There are many museums where you can discover part of the essence of Belmonte. Among the museums you can visit are the Olive Oil Museum, Jewish Museum, Museum of Discoveries, Museum of the Territory – Casa da Torre Caria and Ecomuseum of Zêzere.

Other spaces of high tourist interest are Casa da Roda Caria and Casa Etnográfica de Caria. There is plenty of space to explore with paths or even to mount a bicycle and pedal through a landscape that is dazzling to say the least.

There are also some craft houses that you can visit and put yourself in a position to learn arts that were important in Portuguese history and that today are at risk of being lost. Artesanato Boa Sorte, Antiguidades de Belmonte, Antiguidades Martins, Cooperativa Belofícios, Hiperartesanato das Beiras are some of these spaces that you shouldn’t miss.

place in history

Pedro Álvares Cabral is an emblematic name in the history of Portugal. What few know is that this man who was a court nobleman – son of Fernão Cabral and Isabel de Gouveia – was born between 1467-1468, precisely in Belmonte.

Thus, this beautiful land is associated with this military commander who, as a Portuguese navigator and explorer, will be forever immortalized, being considered the main person responsible for the discovery of Brazil (1500).

Statue of Pedro Álvares Cabral in Belmonte

Where sleep

Surely choosing the Belmonte Sinai Hotel (Largo de S. Sebastião) will ensure all the conditions you need for an excellent stay in Belmonte. Other options are: Pousada de Belmonte (Serra da Esperança) or Hotel Belsol (Ginjal). For those looking to stay in apartments, there are options like Casa Dr. Saba (39 Rua Pedro Álvares Cabral), Casa da Fonte Grande (Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis 8A).

For those looking for holiday homes, the options are, for example, Casa Miriam (Rua Da Igreja Matriz), Casa Marias (Rua Dr. Jose Castro, 20 Belmonte), Casa Abraão (Rua Direita, 32). There are also guest houses such as Altitude House (Rua Pedro Álvares Cabral 39), Casa Rafael (Rua dos Bombeiros Voluntários 1), Cantinho Santiago (Largo S.Tiago 9 and 13), My Mother`s House (Largo 5 de Outubro No. 2). Finally, there are country houses like Quinta da Ribeira (Laje da Fidalga) or Quinta Chão do Nabal (Quinta Chão do Nabal – Maçainhas).

Where to eat

There are good restaurants in Belmonte. Stick with our suggestions.

  • Restaurant at Pousada Convento de Belmonte (Serra da Esperança);
  • The Coat of Arms (Largo Afonso Costa 15);
  • Thread of Olive Oil Taberna (Praça da Republica 8);
  • Farol da Esperança (Volunteer Firefighters Street 5);
  • Casa do Castelo (Largo de Santiago);
  • As Ferreirinhas (Rua da Fonte Grande);
  • Manjar Dos Deuses (Sitio do Vale, next to the trucking station);
  • Se7enta & Se7e Handmade Ice Cream (Rua do Monte, Pelourinho).

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