The action of the Inquisition in Lisbon

Wed, 24.10.2018

Unveiling the dark stories behind this “Horror Machine”

On the last tour on the 25th of October our Portuguese language school organized a walking tour about the Inquisition. It was a religious court created by the Catholic Church to persecute and condemn all the people that trespassed the religious moral. The main targets were the Jews and the new-Christians which were Jews converted to Catholicism. However, there were condemnations of people accused of bigamy, sodomy and witchcraft.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, leaded us in this journey about the darkest period of the Portuguese Modern History. We started in the theater D. Maria II.  Before becoming a theater in the 19th century, it was the Estaus palace created in the 15th century. In 1571 it was turned into the edge of the Inquisition in Lisbon. This religious court was ruled and controlled by the Jesuits. The processes and the trials were executed here. It also had a prison where the condemned people stayed until the ceremony of auto-de-fé.

Then, we went to Saint Dominic’s square. During the 19th until the 21st of April of 1506 there was a slaughter commanded by the Dominicans order.  Thousands of Jews and new-Christians were burned alive by the Christian population. All because a new-Christian said that the reflection of the sun in the image of Jesus Christ wasn’t a miracle of God.

In Praça do Comércio, Indira told us that the autos-de-fé were religious ceremonies of the Inquisition. Only in autos-de-fé the condemned people knew their sentences. Some people were burned alive in Terreiro do Trigo, Alfama.

After the tour we gathered in a nice esplanade and we had the chance to know new people!

You can take a look at our wonderful pictures of the tour:


Going back to the darkest period of the Portuguese History

If you are living or staying temporarily in Lisbon, probably you could feel that most Portuguese people are kind and welcoming. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the country was really intolerant to the people that had behaviors against the religious order. The main targets of the Portuguese Inquisition were the Jews, the New Christians (Cristãos-novos) and the moors. The Cristãos-novos were Jewish people converted to Catholicism. Other crimes related to bigamy, sodomy practices, witchcraft and adultery were also punished.

Are you curious about this subject? If you are, this will be the perfect tour for you. Join us on the 24th of October to learn more about this intolerant period of the Portuguese History.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, will guide us in this tour. The Inquisition was established in the Portuguese cities of Évora, Lisbon and Coimbra in 1536. The edge of the Portuguese Inquisition in Lisbon was the Estaus Palace . This palace it’s nowadays the theater D. Maria II. In the Estaus Palace, the people were heard in court and imprisoned until the output of their sentences. 

Next to the theater D. Maria II, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the Saint Dominic’s church. Here, during the 19th until the 21st of April of 1506 occurred a slaughter against new Christians and Jewish people. After Saint Dominic’s church we’ll end in Praça do Comércio. In this place, the Autos-de-fé were executed. This religious ceremonies were rituals of public penance of condemned people, which could result in the death at the stake.

After the tour we’ll t have time to meet new people and gather in a terrace!

Join us and keep in touch with our school events section in our website.