Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vercelli -- Synagogue under Restoration

An article (in Italian) on the web site of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities describes the process of restoration that is current under way for the synagogue in Vercelli, between Milan and Turin in northern Italy. The synagogue stood almost abandoned and in very dilapidated condition for years. But some restoration work was carried out in 2003 and 2004, and a €700,000 project was begun in 2007. A very small Jewish community lives in Vercelli; community president Rossella Bottini Treves says that once restored, the synagogue will serve as a cultural space for the city. Read full article (in Italian).

The Vercelli synagogue: Photo from

The synagogue, inaugurated in 1878, was designed by Marco Treves, the Vercelli-born architect who also designed the synagogue in Florence. With its Moorish-style striping and flat, tripartite facade with a raised central portion, it resembles several important synagogues in Central Europe whose design was inspired by the Tempelgasse synagogue in Vienna, designed by Ludwig von Foerster and built in the 1850s, which was destroyed on Kristallnacht -- these include the destroyed synagogue in Zagreb and the Choral Synagogue in Bucharest, among others.

Choral Synagogue, Bucharest, 2006. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

Synagogue in Vrbove, Slovakia, 2006. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

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