How this pristine 15th-century Hebrew Bible survived the Inquisition; Cnaan Liphshiz; The Jewish Standard


Portugal – University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia

COIMBRA, Portugal  — From its mountaintop perch, the University of Coimbra towers majestically over the downtown square that used to be the regional headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition.

It’s a fitting location for the 737-year-old university, the seventh oldest in the world, which outsmarted and outlived the campaign of persecution against Jews and freethinkers unleashed by the Catholic Church and Portugal’s rulers in 1536.

“This place was almost literally an ivory tower of knowledge during those dark times,” António Eugénio Maia do Amaral, assistant director of the university’s 500-year-old library, recently told JTA.

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