Jewish Heritage Europe

Pisa synagogue reopened after 8-year restoration

 

The restored sanctuary of the synagogue in Pisa. Photo: Firenze Ebraica
The restored sanctuary of the synagogue in Pisa. Photo: Firenze Ebraica

The synagogue in Pisa, Italy has been rededicated after being closed for eight years during a €1.3 million restoration process.

A gala ceremony and day-long events June 21 marked the occasion. The ceremony was attended by Jewish and civic leaders, including Pisa’s mayor, as well as religious representatives, including the local Imam.

“Today the synagogue complex in Pisa is given back not only to the Jewish community, which after many years can finally use a fundamental space, for more than four centuries at the centre of communal life, but also to the city and society at large, which will be able to take advantage of the many initiatives that will be carried out during the year,” Renzo Gattegna, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) said in his remarks.

A moment during the rededication ceremony. Photo: UCEI
A moment during the rededication ceremony. Photo: UCEI

Located in a 14th century building that was converted into a synagogue in 1595, the synagogue was totally rebuilt and restructured in the 1860s according to a design by the architect Marco Treves. Its interior, noted for a beautifully ornate ceiling, is hidden behind a plain exterior facade that faces the street.

The synagogue was closed in 2007 because of serious structural damage, including cracks in the ceiling and walls, water damage, and a partial collapse of the roof.

The restoration was 40 percent financed by the state, with the rest of the funds coming from the Pisa Foundation and the Cassa di Risparmio di San Miniato Foundation.

 

 

Click to access the book (in Italian) prepared for the inauguration, including a detailed description of the restoration process

 

 

See a video of the restored synagogue:

 

 

7 comments on “Pisa synagogue reopened after 8-year restoration

  1. my wife & i will be in Pisa in July 2018 on a cruise ship that will be docked in Livorno .
    is there any way we can visit the synogouge.
    is there anyone who can give me an email address or other contact

    • If you go to the Communal Contacts page of the Italy section of this web site, you will find a link to the web site of the Pisa Jewish community, with their contacts

  2. We will be in Prato April 10 and wonder if you have a Seder, in English, that we can attend?
    We are four adults and two children, ages 13 and 11.
    Many thanks,
    Marilyn Levy

    • You will have to contact the Jewish community in the place you wish to be. The links are on the Communal Contacts page of the Italy section of this web site.

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