The Tempio Israelitico, Rome, Italy


Exterior of the Tempio Israelitico, Rome. Beit Hatfutsot, the Oster Visual Documentation Center. Courtesy of Emanuelle Pacifici, Rome

The Tempio Israelitico is situated at Lungotevere Cenci in Rome. The monument was built in an eclectic mixed style (Roman, Greek, Assyro-Babylonian) in 1904 by the Roman architects Armanni and Costa. The impressive square domed synagogue can be seen across the Tiber, which flows past the south front of the synagogue.

The building is a monumental and massive structure built on a Greek cross plan. In the facade, the two-storey vestibule with a four column portico surmounts a gable featuring in its center, the Tablets of the Law and on top of them, the menorah. At the east side of the main prayer hall that rises 46 meters to the top of the square aluminum cupola, there is a semi-hexagonal apse containing the white and gold classical Ark and the Bimah.

Columns support women galleries at the north, south and west sides. On the walls, warm-toned decorations and floral stylistic ornaments representing tapestries and a starry firmament on the ceiling. In addition, plaques are displayed on the walls recording names of Jewish victims during both World Wars.

Today, the Tempio Israelitico is still active and houses a Museum, owning a collection of original documents and objects documenting Jewish History in Rome.

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