Religious Buildings in Barcelona
Civil Buildings in Barcelona
Museums in Barcelona
The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona, also known as the Greater Synagogue, is considered one of the oldest Hebrew temples in Europe. This old synagogue is located in an area that was previously the Jewish Quarter of Barcelona and whose foundations were built during Roman times. Its central structure dates from the 13th century, having been modified in the 18th century when its upper floors were built.
The synagogue has very interesting places, such as its hall, where the ground is almost two meters below street level. After going down some stairs, visitors can see an Opus Africanum, a work of public utility during that time and on which its central structure rested in the 13th century.
Originally, the synagogue had an entrance to the northwest that gave access to two large windows in its southeast wall. These were oriented towards Jerusalem. Therefore, it was a place of enormous symbolism. In addition, the Arón HaKodesh was placed there. It was made by the artist Ferrán Aguiló in 1957 and protects the Torah scrolls.
Another characteristic of this synagogue is that it was a free-standing building whose original boundaries were Escola Major street, Carrer de les Dones and an atrium to the west that currently contains a commercial premises. In that area were the most emblematic Jewish buildings. This population converted to Christianity, but even so could not avoid the pogroms of 1391 and, later, the infamous Anti-Jewish Revolt in which the Jews were expelled and their properties expropriated in favour of the king.
Currently, the Ancient Synagogue is used as a venue for community festivities. Previously, it was used for many years in multiple ways and was then recovered in 2002.