Spanish Synagogue in Venice
The Spanish Synagogue (Schola Spagnola) is one of the two functioning synagogues in the Venetian Ghetto of Venice, northern Italy. It is open for services from Passover until the end of the High Holiday season.
The Spanish Synagogue was founded by Jews expelled from the Iberian peninsula in the 1490s who reached Venice, usually via Amsterdam, Livorno or Ferrara, in the 1550s. The four-story story yellow stone building, designed by architect Baldassarre Longhena was constructed in 1580 and was restored in 1635. It is a clandestine synagogue, which was tolerated on the condition that it be concealed within a building that gives no appearance being a house of worship form the exterior, although the interior is elaborately decorated.
The synagogue’s ornate interior contains three large chandeliers and a dozen smaller ones, as well as a huge sculpted wooden ceiling.