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Leiria Intercultural Dialogue Centre

The creation of Leiria Intercultural Dialogue Centre relies on the preservation and promotion of cultural, architectural and urban legacy. It consisted on the renovation of the Mercy Church – Igreja da Misericórdia – and the Painters’ House – Casa dos Pintores.  The main goal of this project is to preserve the memory of different communities and identities that along the centuries have inhabited the region, especially in the Middle Ages, when the presence of Muslims, Christians and Jews was stronger. 
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The book is the leitmotif of this museum project, bringing together different religions and communities, a powerful agent of dialogue between cultures, religions, identities and beliefs.

The Jewish presence in Leiria dates back to the beginning of the 13th century, settling in a commune on the outskirts of the village and growing until the 15th century, when it reached its peak.

The Medieval Jewish quarter can still be seen nowadays. In 1492, the typewriter Samuel de Ortas has settled in this area and in 1496, he printed Almanach Perpetuum, written by Abraão Zacuto, and a decisive work for the Portuguese Discoveries. The Mercy Church was built upon the ancient Synagogue. This Baroque church now houses the Intercultural Dialogue Center that also embraces the Medieval house known as Casa dos Pintores.

Intercultural Dialogue Center and Leiria Synagogue

The Jewish community focused around the Synagogue, situated in the place of the current Mercy Church, a Christian temple with Mannerism and Baroque reminiscences that was classified Public Interest Monument in 2015.
The Brotherhood of the Mercy of Leiria was probably created in 1544, replacing the work carried out by São Martinho Church (demolished between 1546 and 1549), at least until the construction of the Cathedral in 1559.

Casa dos Pintores

The Medieval house Casa dos Pintores is located at the heart of the Jewish quarter next to the former square Largo dos Banhos. It is a rare building and a testimony of the most ancient residential architecture of the historical center. The name Casa dos Pintores, literally the Painters’ House, is due to the several artists that depicted its façade.

Mondays – Fridays
09:30 – 12:30
14:00 – 17:30

Closed on January 1st, Easter Day and December 25th
Free entrance
No guided visits available

Leiria Intercultural Dialogue Centre

Igreja da Misericórdia
Rua Miguel Bombarda, 15
2400-076 Leiria
Get directions
+351 244 839 628
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