Great Synagogue

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The Great Synagogue of Florence or Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in South-central Europe, situated in Florence, in Italy. The synagogue of Florence was one of the most important synagogues built in Europe in the age of the emancipation, reached by the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1848.


Layers of travertine and granite alternate in the masonry, creating a striped effect. Old photographs show bold red and beige stripes, but the bold colors of the stone have faded over time, leaving a more mottled effect.
The overall plan of the synagogue is quadrangular. The central dome raised on pendentives is reminiscent of the Hagia Sophia and many mosques inspired by it. The corner towers are topped with horseshoe-arched towers themselves topped with onion domes in the Moorish Revival style. Three horseshoe arches form the main entrance, above which rise tiers of ajimez windows, with their paired horseshoe arches sharing a single column. The natural copper roof was oxidized to green so that it would stand out in the Florentine skyline.
Inside the building "every square inch is covered with colored designs," in Moorish patterns. The interior mosaics and frescoes are by Giovanni Panti. Giacomo del Medico designed the great arch.

 

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