. bɛɫ'mõt(ɨ)) is a municipality in Portugal
. It has a total area of 118.8 km² and a total population of 7,662 inhabitants.
The municipality is composed of five parishes and is located in the district of Castelo Branco.
The present mayor is Amândio Manuel Ferreira de Melo, elected by the Socialist Party.
The municipal holiday is April 26.
Belmonte is also the birth place of Pedro Álvares Cabral, the navigator who discovered the land of Vera Cruz, now Brazil. Located in the Church of Santa Maria are the iconic image statue of Nossa Senhora da Esperança (Our Lady of Hope), which accompanied Cabral in his voyage. The image was, until 1834, in the Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Esperança, now transformed in a modern charm hotel.
Belmonte is home to the last remaining community of marranos
(known as Belmonte Jews
) who officially returned to Judaism
in the 1970s
, and opened a synagogue
. In 2003
, the Belmonte Project
was founded under the auspices of the American Sephardi Federation
, in order to raise funds to acquire Judaic educational material and services for the community (which now numbers 160-180). A Jewish Museum of Belmonte
(Museu Judaico de Belmonte
) opened on 17 April
. In the summer of 2006
, the American Sephardi Federation ceased to have the Belmonte Project under its auspices.
- Belmonte (formerly Santa Maria and São Tiago, extinct in 1831)
- Colmeal da Torre