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Obj. ID: 9309
Jewish Architecture
  Esnoga (Talmud Torah) Synagogue in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

© Vladimir Levin, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 2013

 

The Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam can be dated back to 1671/75 and was designed by the architect E. Bouman. The exterior of the building, specifically the heavy buttresses, refer to the Temple of Solomon. The model which served as the main inspiration for this image of the Temple would be Jacob Judah Leon’s (also known as ‘Templo’) reconstruction of Solomon’s Temple. The impressive size of the interior of the synagogue is strengthened by four colossal sandstone Ionic pillars which support the roof and smaller Ionic columns supporting the women’s gallery. Like many other Sephardic synagogues, the benches are orientated towards the center and not the wall of the Torah ark. In a similar manner, the bimah (teva) is positioned near the entrance and not in the center of the assembly hall. The entire hall is illuminated by large rounded arch and square-shaped windows running along the sides of the building.

The main entrance of the synagogue contains a Hebrew inscription referring to Psalm 5:8 and the date [5]432 (1672 CE). After 1943, the synagogue services temporarily ceased but continued immediately after the war in May 1945. Most of the furniture of the interior can be dated back to the seventeenth-century beginnings of the synagogue. One of the oldest still-existing Jewish libraries is housed in one of the seminary buildings situated to the south of the main gate (ca. 1674).

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Name/Title
Esnoga (Talmud Torah) Synagogue in Amsterdam | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1670-1675
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
1744 (Torah ark), 1955–1959
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Location
The Netherlands | Amsterdam
| Mr. Visserplein 3 | 1011 RD
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Brick
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Synagogue
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
B (Fair)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period

The building designed and constructed following the end of Sabbatean fervor.

Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style

The most important western Sephardi synagogue, which served as a model for synagogues of western Sephardi diaspora.


The synagogue is modelled after the imagery of the Jerusalem Temple by Rabbi Leon Judah Templo and Jaun Bautista Villalpando.

Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Part of shulhoyf
Significance Rating
4 (International)
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
J.F. van Agt & E. van Voolen, Synagogen in Nederland (Amsterdam, 1988); De Snoge: monument van Portugees-joodse cultuur (Amsterdam 1991, second edition 2001) (English: The Esnoga: a monument to Portuguese-Jewish Culture, Amsterdam, 1991, 2001); Keßler, Katrin, Ritus und Raum der Synagoge (Petersberg, 2007), with ills and plans; Edward van Voolen and Paul Meijer, Synagogen van Nederland (Amsterdam, 2005), p. 47 with ill.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
Remy Arkenbosch | 2018
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.