Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam, Amsterdam Overview

A legacy of the Jewish community in Amsterdam, the Portuguese Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe when it was completed in 1675. It was a part of the Amsterdam Sephardic community and has been active ever since its completion. This synagogue has been a part of Amsterdam’s history and past events and remains open to tourists today.

As a 17th century structure, the interiors of this place have been kept in its original state and is a sight to behold in the evenings when the synagogue lights up with candles. It is a wonderful sight to witness with sunlight pouring through the large windows of the synagogue in the day and lit up with candles at night, as it does not have electric light.

The synagogue is still in use as a place for worship and is a part of the Jewish Cultural Quarter open to tourists and locals. In the entrance to the synagogue, there are inscriptions - "In the abundance of Thy lovingkindness will I come into Thy house" in reference to Psalm 5:8 and the year “1672” in reference to the period when the building was supposed to be completed.

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How to Reach the Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam

Metro: You can take Metro 51, 53 and 54 till Waterlooplein stop

Tram: You can take Trams 9 and 14 till Waterlooplein stop

Ets Haim - Livraria Montezinos Library at the Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam

The Portuguese Synagogue also includes one of the oldest Jewish libraries in the world, the Ets Haim - Livraria Montezinos Library. Et Haim (“Tree of Life”) and the collections here have now been included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World.

Architecture of the How to Reach the Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam

This synagogues’ interior is a stunning sight with a collection of beautiful heritage artefacts laced with stone pillars and white plastered walls. The Holy Ark and the Tebah are at opposite ends, with the Ark at the South East Corner and the seats are divided into two parts facing each other. The Women’s Gallery here is upstairs, supported by twelve stone columns, each representing one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. With about a thousand candle holders in total, the three large brass chandeliers add to the beauty of this place.

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