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Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
Touro Synagogue National Historic Site

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site Tours and Activities

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A Jewish synagogue located on Touro Street, just north of Bellevue Avenue, Touro Synagogue is the oldest existing synagogue in the United States. In 1658, more than a dozen Jewish families, mostly refugees from Spain and Portugal, founded a Sephardic community. A century later, British-Colonial architect and local resident Peter Harrison designed a two-story Palladian house of worship for this community.

Completed in 1763, and still serving Newport’s Jewish congregation today, its elegant 12-columned interior remains virtually unchanged. A mural on the east wall depicts the Ten Commandments in Jewish; below it is an ark containing the Torah. Legend has it that a small trapdoor in the platform upon which the Torah is read symbolizes the days of persecution when Jews had to worship in secret; it also was supposedly a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The John L. Loeb Visitors center has two floors of multimedia exhibits that explore the history of Newport’s Jewish community.

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85 Touro St, Newport, RI, 02840
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Historic Walking Tour of Newport with Guide and Full Narration

Historic Walking Tour of Newport with Guide and Full Narration

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The Colony House was built in 1739. At this point, Newport had been settled for 100 years. During the American Revolution it was used as a site for storing weapons and in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read from the front steps. When the Revolution was over, George Washington even dined there in celebration. Around this time, pirating was illegal but profitable. From the Red Sea back to Newport the pirates had a safe haven and they buried their treasure here. Captain Kidd and many others visited Newport and the settlers would sidestep the laws to protect profit. Many pirates were revered as heroes and when their ships came into port, large crowds would form. By 1680 Newport had become a thriving seaport town 30 ships per day were emptied and reloaded, with grist mills and sawmills, tanneries, masons, breweries, bakeries. This supported shipwrights and house wrights, blacksmiths, shopkeepers, and artisans.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Touro Synagogue National Historic Site hours of operation?
A:
Touro Synagogue National Historic Site hours of operation: Jul-Sep, 2013: Sun-Fri, Visitor Center: 9:30am-4:30pm, tours: 10:00am-4:00pm. Sep 2-Nov 1, 2013: Sun-Fri, VC: 9:30am-2:30pm, tours: 10:00am-2:00pm. Hours change per season.. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Touro Synagogue National Historic Site tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Touro Synagogue National Historic Site can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Touro Synagogue National Historic Site 2021?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Touro Synagogue National Historic Site costs USD 27.00. Guided Touro Synagogue National Historic Site tours start around USD 27.00 per person.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Touro Synagogue National Historic Site?
A:
The best ways to experience Touro Synagogue National Historic Site are: