web analytics
July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Portuguese Plumbers Discover Ancient Mikvahs

By: JTA

Plumbers fixing a water leak in central Portugal discovered what appears to be a cluster of 600-year-old Jewish ritual baths.

The discovery was made earlier this year in the city of Coimbra as the plumbers were replacing the piping of an old building in what used to be the Jewish part of the Old City, according to a report Thursday by the Publico daily.

Jorge Alarcao, an archeologist who was called upon to study the structures, told the paper: “This could be the only discovery of its kind made in Portugal.”

The structures appear to be mikvahs, or ritual baths, predating the 14th century which were designed for Jewish women, according to Alarcao.

“It could be the most important archeological discovery made in Coimbra over the past 70 years,” Coimbra Mayor Manuel Machado told the paper.

The Jewish presence in Coimbra dates back to at least 1370, and the mikvahs may have been in operation even before that date, Alarcao said. If additional researchers confirm the find, the mikvahs of Coimbra may be considered among the oldest mikvahs ever discovered in Europe, he said.

The mikvahs were enclosed in a room whose ceiling featured an ancient fresco of flowers, Publico reported. The fresco was likely painted in the 16th century, before the Portuguese Inquisition sent hundreds of thousands of Spanish Jewish refugees and local Jews into exile or forced them to convert to Christianity.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Portuguese Plumbers Discover Ancient Mikvahs”

  1. Larry Singleton says:

    “It could be the most important archeological discovery made in Coimbra over the past 70 years,” Coimbra Mayor Manuel Machado told the paper.

    Now the mayor getting into this is good. At least it's not a Jew hating community like Turkey or Berkeley , CA. where it would have been destroyed and the plumbing installed.

    Then again, how many Jews are in Portugal?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Graffiti found on a building in the village of Duma.
Arab Infant Killed in Arson ‘Price Tag’ Attack
Latest News Stories
Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Saudi Arabia may buy $5.4 billion worth of PAC-3 missiles as part of an effort by the Obama to soothe Riyadh’s anger over the nuclear agreement with Iran. The State Dept. approved the Lockheed missile sale, which also would be another plum for the military-industrial complex. Lockheed stated, “Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government […]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement after this mornings’ arson-murder, apparently by  price-tag terrorists, near Shechem (Nablus): I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered […]

Thousands of security forces have been deployed to the Temple Mount. Mother and brother of baby are in critical condition.

The initial investigation indicates that Price Tag vandals have now graduated to murder.

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Hamas said that the unity government’s reshuffle was “unconstitutional and outside consensus.”

Jewish community leaders argued these “stolpersteine” — German for stumbling blocks — were an inappropriate form of remembrance because people would step on them.

The stabber is an ultra-Orthodox man who had stabbed three marchers at the gay pride parade in Jerusalem 10 years ago.

NGO-Monitor’s questions raises questions about AI’s professionalism and credibility…

Tel Aviv’s talent resources were ranked 3rd in the world — behind 2nd place Moscow and 1st place Silicon Valley.

The Prime Minister said that the procedures for inspections are “full of holes.”

“The deal before us now is simply too dangerous for the American people.”

Rabbis will appeal to Congressmen, especially the Jews, immediately before the Rosh HaShanah New Year.

A massive heat wave is expected to last throughout most of next week, if not longer.

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/portuguese-plumbers-discover-ancient-mikvahs/2013/12/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: