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The Pátio da Inquisição or the Patio of the inquisition in Coimbra is an unnoticeable square across the street from the Santa Cruz church and the Jardim da Manga. The Pátio da Inquisição was the setting for the trials held during the inquisition of the 16th century which caused many people their life’s, a lot of whom where the Jews who refused to convert to Christianity.
In Portugal many Jews converted to Christianity, some have kept traces of their original background in certain habits and customs. These traits have been handed down from generation to generation
Some of the newly converted Jews remained to practice their religion in secrecy possibly using the tunnels that have been found under the Jewish areas in certain old cities but most lost their original culture and original surnames and have melted overtime into being of Christian Portuguese background.
At the moment much about this period is still being researched but the history of the Pátio da Inquisição remains an indisputable fact and along with Aveiro and Lisbon, Coimbra’s role in the inquisition a darker chapter in Portugals beautiful history.
Some of The Patio of the Inquisition (Pátio da Inquisição) buildings remain and have been completely renovated and rebuild in 2003 but most noticeable is the large and with age worn stone that still stands untouched on the left hand site of the Pátio. It was the stone used to behead those that wouldn’t convert to Christianity or where found guilty of acts against the church and later of sorcery.
The square consists of various buildings that where used to house the headquarters of the Christian order in this time from 1566 – 1821.
There is no remembrance stone or plaque to inform people about it’s history but the untouched stone demands much respect.