The Jewish presence in Porto predates the very existence of the city, but the earliest records date back to the 12th century, when many Jewish merchants had settled in Ribeira.
The first known synagogue has appeared on the hill of the Cathedral. Later on, in the 14th century, there was another prayer house in the current Rua do Comércio do Porto, near the Palácio da Bolsa. Judiaria de Monchique (Monchique Jewish quarter), is part of the city where, even today, the Jewish presence is visible in the name of the place. There also used to be a synagogue of great importance. The sign commemorating its inauguration is in permanent exhibition at Museu do Carmo in Lisbon. The Jewish cemetery would be near the place where Passeio das Virtudes is located.
In the same century, the Judiaria do Olival (Olival Jewish quarter) was built, which also had a majestic synagogue that later on gave way to the Mosteiro São Bento da Vitória (Monastery of St. Benedict of Victory). The Inquisition and the forced conversion of many Jews left their mark in Porto as well. In the seventeenth century many Jews left the city.
In the twentieth century, the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue (at Guerra Junqueiro Street, 340) was built, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula.