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The Synagogue and Jewish Museum

The world's oldest operating Sephardic Synagogue, with a museum telling the story of the Jews of Dubrovnik.

TravelCurious Tip

The synagogue’s opening times are rather erratic, but it is frequently closed on weekends.

When the Catholic Alhambra Decree expelled all Jews from Spain in 1492, many of them migrated to the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and to Dubrovnik in particular. Before that time there are only a handful of historical mentions of Jews living in the city, but the end of the 15th century sparked the beginning of an influx of Jewish culture. Though their presence was the source of continued controversy, their foothold was never fully dislodged, and as a result the synagogue here is the second oldest in Europe.


A Rich History

Entering the synagogue today from Žudioska ulica street, just off Stradun, you will pass a wall decorated with, among other things, a list of victims of the devastating 1667 earthquake, and a picture of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The interior style is sombre, having been redecorated in the baroque style in the mid-17th-century. This process saw the inclusion of an exquisite representation of the Ark of the Covenant, within whose intricately inlaid doors reside several scrolls of the Torah which are thought to have been brought from Spain during the Jewish exodus.

Probably the most historically significant artefact in the synagogue is a florally-patterned 13th century Moorish rug, supposedly a gift from Queen Isabella of Spain to her Jewish doctor after he was forced to leave the country.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Dubrovnik
Stradun
Iconic limestone-paved Stradun is the main thoroughfare through Dubrovnik's old town.
Walls of Dubrovnik
The imposing defensive walls of Dubrovnik guarded the freedom of a sophisticated republic for five centuries.
Rector's Palace
This secular palace is a harmonious combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.
Dubrovnik Cruise Port
A port renowned for its fascinating history, crystal clear water and astounding superyachts.
Orlando Column
A 600-year-old column carved in honour of the legendary knight Orlando, who saved Dubrovnik from a siege by Arab pirates in the 8th century.
City Bell Tower
A beautiful landmark of the Old Town, with a bell struck by two bronze men.

Related Tours

The Cultural Highlights of Dubrovnik

  • Your tour begins at Stradun, Dubrovnik's famous city square, hosting many rustic old buildings, including the Rector’s Palace - a 14th century Baroque masterpiece, serving not only as a residence but also as an armory, powder magazine, watch house, and prison. 
  • You will also have the pleasure of visiting Onofrio's Fountain, where you will be able to admire the magnificent Sponza Palace.
  • You will move on to visit the stunning Old Synagogue of Dubrovnik, the oldest in the city, and astonishingly the second oldest in the world.
  • You will also enjoy a visit to the Jewish Museum, where you will learn more about the Jewish community and their contribution to the history and culture of the great city of Dubrovnik. 
  • You will then proceed on to the Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption, rebuilt in the 18th century following an earthquake, and now a popular venue for weddings and celebrations. 
  • You will see the stunning Cathedral of the Assumption, Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Church of St. Blaise. Here you will learn all about the fascinating legend of Richard the Lionheart who returning from the Crusades in 1192, was shipwrecked in a storm, and cast aground on Lokrum Island in front of Dubrovnik. 
  • You will also pay a visit to the Franciscan Monastery and Old Pharmacy- the third oldest in the world. After which you will proceed to traverse the beautiful City Walls, a 2 km stone wall that has protected the city for centuries. During your walk along the city walls you will be able to take in the panoramic views of the city below. 

Stradun is the main street in Dubrovnik Old Town. Stradun stretches the distance of Pile Gate to the Old Town’s port. The street has been completely pedestrianised for almost 50 years and acts as main local promenade, featuring a number of restaurants, cafes and shops. 

Onofrio's Fountain circulates through a huge central dome and 16 water taps that surround it. It was completed in 1438 and withstood some damage after an earthquake but was never been repaired! Spend some time sitting at the foot of the fountain planning the rest of your day or enjoying a light bite to eat. 

The Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption was largely destroyed in 1667 due to an earthquake strike. The senate of Dubrovnik at the time pledged for it to be remodeled, whereby multiple architects eventually made it happen;  Francesco Cortese, Paolo Andreotti of Genoa, Pier Antonio Bazzi of Genoa, and friar Tommaso Napoli of Palerm. The Cathedral was then completed over the next three decades. Unfortunately, further damage has been made over the years, but it has all been repaired. 

Perfect for those wanting a great Dubrovnik selfie!
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