Located in the province of Beira Baixa in the center of Porugal, Belmonte was designated by the oldest of “Belo Monte” or “Monte Belo”, thanks to its wonderful landscapes for the slope of Serra da Estrela, the largest mountainous region of the country and zone of landscape integrated in the Natural Park of the Serra da Estrela – largest national protected area.
The human presence dates back to prehistory, forming part of the Network of Historical Villages of Portugal that form a group of ancient urban centers with a foundation predating the Portuguese nation, located in the Beiras region and of great historical importance.
The birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral, the navigator, who in 1500 commanded the second armada to India, during which Brazil was officially discovered, Belmonte has been, for five centuries, the main center of the community of Portuguese Marranos Jews.
It attracts tourists and scholars, claiming to be the only Peninsular community, a legitimate heir of the ancient historical presence of Sephardic Jews, and is considered the Portuguese land more faithful to the mystique of this culture. In Belmonte, in addition to mountain gastronomy, you can enjoy a typical Jewish meal in Belmonte Sinai’s restaurant, the 1st Hotel Kosher in Portugal.
It is a very rare case of enduring clandestine preservation of worship, faith and Jewish customs up to the present day.