web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 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
Justice Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked.
Upgraded Counter Terrorism Bill Passes First Knesset Reading
Latest News Stories
Justice Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked.

An upgraded counter terrorism law has passed its first reading Thursday in the Knesset plenum.

A male figure sculpted on the sarcophagus cover, possibly the image of the deceased.

An extremely rare sarcophagus has been uncovered at a building site in Ashkelon.

Jim Bennett, zl, father of Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett.

Jim Bennett, 73, father of Education Minister Naftali Bennett, has passed away in Haifa.

IAF fighter jet heads to  Gaza.

Israeli fighter pilots bombed a Hamas military post in northern Gaza at dawn on Thursday.

Sen. Cotton sounds confident there is much more that can be done to protect us all from the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Jewish agricultural laws aren’t necessarily something the rest of the world easily becomes fixated on, but lately the word “Shemitah” has been popping up frequently in Google searches.

The Knesset passed its first reading for the 2015-2016 budget by a vote of 57 to 53.

The Israeli police shot him before he threw his bomb at them.

Shortly before 7 PM, sniper fire originating from Gaza hit a home in the Israeli town of Netiv Ha’asara.

A teacher at an UNRWA school in Jordan includes a Jewish blood libel cartoon on his Facebook account.

“I, Yaakov Litzman, pledge…to be faithful to the government of Israel and to its laws.”

Pope Francis invited the President of Israel for his first official visit to the Vatican.

The Maryland Democrat caved in even though she is retiring at the end of her current term.

Another rash of life-threatening firebombing and rock-throwing attacks has prompted Israel to think twice about abandoning soldiers and civilians as sitting ducks.

Pressure from Gush Etzion leaders has convinced Ya’alon to authorize a site in memory of last year’s three kidnap-murder victims.

As reported earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s grandfather’s grave on the Mount of Olives was desecrated overnight by Arab vandals who destroyed and burned numerous graves. The Mount of Olives is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world.

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: