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Posts Tagged ‘portuguese synagogue’

On Friday, I finally took a tour of the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum, which are located in the east of Amsterdam. I say ‘finally’ because I lived relatively close to them for more than four years and went by regularly without ever visiting. It was a very cold tour though, since it was a sunny but cold day in Amsterdam, and the synagogue has no electricity or heating.

Exterior of the Portuguese Synagogue

The Portuguese Synagogue is a beautiful long structure, built in the 1670s, with a wooden interior and many chandeliers to hold the approximately 1000 candles used to light the interior in the evening. It’s specifically a Portuguese synagogue, because it was built for the large Jewish population that immigrated to the Netherlands from Spain and Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition. Even the Spanish immigrants called themselves Portuguese Jews to avoid being identified with Spain, then at war with the Dutch.

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