Centro de Diálogo Intercultural de Leiria

Estremadura & Ribatejo

The gorgeously restored 18th century Igreja da Misericórdia was built in late-Mannerist style on the plot of land where an even older cathedral dating to 1544 once stood and, before that, Leiria's medieval synagogue, which catered to a thriving Jewish quarter here from the 13th to 15th centuries. Today, the space is the centrepiece of the city's new Centre for Intercultural Dialogue dedicated to highlighting the value of the coexistence of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The main, three-arch altar integrates an 18th-century painting depicting a scene of the Visitation and the striking wooden ceiling is adorned with a baroque period painting. You can climb up into the church's second floor as well. CDIL also includes the Casa dos Pintores (House of the Painters) behind the church – notable for its striking wooden balustrade. It houses a small museum dedicated to printing and, specifically, the story of Samuel de Ortas, a Jewish printer who set up one of the first presses in Portugal in 1492.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Estremadura & Ribatejo attractions

1. Pharmácia Leonardo Paiva

0.05 MILES

Opposite Leiria's cathedral stands the wonderfully tiled Pharmácia Leonardo Paiva – the beautiful azulejos depict Hippocrates, Galen and Socrates…


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Leiria's high, impersonal, blocky cathedral was started in the 16th century, and the cloister, sacristy and chapter houses date from 1583 to 1604.

3. M|i|mo

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Just below the castle, this likeable museum focuses on the history of the moving image, with a fine collection of cine cameras and temporary exhibitions…

4. Castelo de Leiria

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Inside the castle walls is a peaceful garden, overgrown with tall trees, and the ruined but lovely Gothic Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Penha, originally…

5. Museu de Leiria

0.36 MILES

Opened in November 2015, this lovely museum celebrates Leiria and its region. Housed in the former Santo Agostinho Convent, the exhibits span everything…

6. Museu do Moinho de Papel

0.51 MILES

Located by the river and near the new Museu de Leiria (and part of the admission price), the Moinho do Papel was Portugal's first paper mill to be moved…

7. Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória

6.04 MILES

The extraordinary monastery of Batalha was built to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota (fought just south of here). Most of the monument was…



This modern, award-winning municipal museum in the centre of town is well worth the visit, taking you through the prehistory and history of the region,…