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Casale Monferato Synagogue

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Casale Monferato Synagogue

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Basic Information

Location Casale Monferrato, Province of Alessandria, Italy
Country Italy
City Casale Monferrato

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 45.13161,8.4505

Summary

The Synagogue of Casale Monferrato is an active synagogue. It was built in 1595 and is particularly known for its exquisite Baroque interior with the walls and ceiling embellished with elaborate painting, carving and gilding. It is located in Vicolo Salmone Olper, an alleyway in the traditionally Jewish quarter of Casale Monferrato, which in the 18th century became the city’s ghetto. The plain building houses a clandestine synagogue, giving no indication of its purpose as a Jewish house of worship.

As in most early modern European synagogues, the synagogue was entered not directly from the street, but via a courtyard: both for reasons of security and to comply with laws requiring that the sound of Jewish worship not be audible by Christians.

Casale Monferrato is one of the few synagogues that survive in Piedmont, which once had many.

The synagogue is listed as a National Monument of Italy.

General

The Jewish Art and History Museum, also known as the Museum of the Silvers, was designed by Giulio Bourbon and is located in part in the former women’s gallery of the synagogue. On display are precious silver ceremonial objects and embroidered textiles, as well as artifacts relating to Jewish festivals and domestic life.

The Museum of Lights occupies an underground room formerly used for baking Matzot and houses a growing collection of Menorahs created by contemporary Jewish and non-Jewish artists.

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