Spanish SYnagogue

3. The Spanish Synagogue

One of the prettiest and oldest synagogues in the world, the Spanish Synagogue was built in 1868 on what used to be called “the Old Shul.” Designed in the popular 18th-century Moorish style, the outside of the synagogue has a square plan with a large dome in the center that is hoisted up by three metal sides that open up the nave. The inside features low stucco of Islamic motifs on the walls, doors, and gallery, which is all surrounded by stain glass windows. During the decades that Nazis and Communists controlled the country, the synagogue deteriorated and was closed for over 20 years, but was revitalized and opened on its 130th birthday. Now, it is a site to see for Jews and non-Jews alike.