Built in the late 17th century, the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam is one of the most significant legacies of Jewish history in the entire city. During the 16th and 17th, century when the Jewish community was facing persecution in Spain and Portugal, many fled to Amsterdam and the concept of building the biggest synagogue in the world began.
Building of the Portuguese Synagogue began in 1671 and was complete in 1675. Restorations have been made over the years but overall it stands today as it did over 300 years ago. Still in use by the Jewish community in Amsterdam, it also attracts swathes of visitors who come to marvel at its ancient architecture and beguiling interior.
The synagogue is located in a complex that also houses a number of other buildings, including the rabbinate, a mortuary, and the Ets Haim (Tree of Life) library, which is home to a valuable collection of Sephardic Jewish manuscripts.
The Portuguese Synagogue is located at Mr. Visserplein 3 and can be reached via tram lines 9 or 14 – or via the 51, 53 or 54 metro lines to the Waterlooplein stop. Opening times vary throughout the year and visitors should be aware that the synagogue is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays and for special events. Entrance fee for adults is €6.50.