The Dubrovnik Synagogue is a historic and cultural landmark in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is the oldest Sefardic synagogue still in use today in the world and the second oldest synagogue in Europe, dating back to 1352. The synagogue is located on a narrow street called Ulica Zudioska («Jewish Street»), where the Jewish ghetto was established in 1546. The synagogue has a baroque style and a unique layout that reflects its long history of renovations and repairs. The synagogue also houses a museum that displays various Jewish ritual items and artifacts from the centuries-old Jewish community in Dubrovnik.
If you want to visit the Dubrovnik Synagogue, you need to buy a ticket at the entrance. The ticket costs 40 kuna (about 6 USD) for adults and 20 kuna (about 3 USD) for students and children.
The Dubrovnik Synagogue is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm, except on Jewish holidays and during winter season (November to March), when it is open from 10 am to 4 pm. The synagogue is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
To get to the Dubrovnik Synagogue, you can take a bus, a taxi, or a cable car to the Old Town of Dubrovnik, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town is surrounded by medieval walls and has many attractions, such as the Stradun (the main street), the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Cathedral. The synagogue is located near the Gundulić Square, where you can find a daily market with local products. You can also walk along the walls or take a boat tour around the city.
Some tips and tours for visiting the Dubrovnik Synagogue are:
- You can book a guided tour of the synagogue and the Jewish quarter online or at the tourist office. The tour lasts about an hour and costs 150 kuna (about 23 USD) per person.
- You can also join a free walking tour of the Old Town that covers the main sights, including the synagogue. The tour starts every day at 10 am and 12 pm at Pile Gate and lasts about two hours. You can tip your guide at the end of the tour.
- You can learn more about the history and culture of the Jewish community in Dubrovnik by visiting the Jewish Museum, which is located next to the synagogue. The museum has exhibits on topics such as the Holocaust, Zionism, and Jewish customs.
- You can also visit other synagogues in Croatia, such as the Zagreb Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue in Croatia, or the Split Synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in Europe.
Prohibitions for visiting the Dubrovnik Synagogue are:
- You cannot take photos or videos inside the synagogue or the museum without permission.
- You cannot bring food or drinks inside the synagogue or the museum.
- You cannot enter the synagogue with inappropriate clothing, such as shorts, skirts above the knee, sleeveless shirts, or hats. You can borrow a scarf or a shawl at the entrance if needed.
- You cannot touch or move any of the objects on display in the synagogue or the museum.
What to see in the Dubrovnik Synagogue are:
- The Torah ark, which is a wooden cabinet that holds five Torah scrolls wrapped in velvet covers. The ark dates back to 1652 and has intricate carvings and gold decorations.
- The bimah, which is a raised platform where the Torah is read during services. The bimah has a brass railing and a velvet canopy with embroidered stars of David.
- The chandelier, which is made of Murano glass and hangs from the ceiling of the synagogue. The chandelier was donated by an Italian rabbi in 1898 and has 24 lamps that symbolize the hours of Shabbat.
- The gallery, which is a balcony where women sit during services. The gallery has wooden benches and windows that overlook the street.
- The museum collection, which includes items such as silver candlesticks, menorahs, kiddush cups, spice boxes, prayer books, shofars, mezuzahs, documents, letters, photographs, and paintings.