The oldest Ghetto in the world – Part II

The opening of the Ghetto

In 1797, after the Serenissima had been conquered by Napoleon, the French “empereur” decreed the end of segregation and the equality of all citizens (Hebrews and Venetians), a decision that got legally binding in 1866 with the annexation of Venice by the Italian Reign.

The holocaust monument and the Hebrew Museum: the synagogues

In the same square, you can spot a holocaust monument of 1980, created by the Lithuanian sculptor Arbit Blatas and at the number 2902/b you’re going to find the Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico) where you can participate at a guided tour of the synagogues (a choice of synagogues) in the Ghetto Nuovo and the Ghetto Vecchio.

In total, five synagogues (or Scole in Venetian), built in the first part of the 16th century by different ethnical groups, are located in Venice: the Scole ashkenazi Tedesca and Canton, the Scola Italiana and the Scole sefardite Levantina and Spagnola. The first three Scole (Tedesca, Canton, Italiana) are located in the Ghetto Nuovo at the top of the buildings, hardly visible from the outside (search for five windows, one beneath the other).

Venezia: Campo del Ghetto Nuovo
Venezia: Campo del Ghetto Nuovo
Venezia: Campo del Ghetto Nuovo - Sinagoga
Venezia: Campo del Ghetto Nuovo – Sinagoga

The signs of segregation

Now go right to sottoportego de Gheto Novo, located between the Museo Ebraico and the Ponte de Gheto Novo (New Ghetto Bridge), and cross the ponte del Gheto Novissimo. Then take the Calle Gheto Novissimo to your left. At the end of the calle turn right and stop a moment in front of the former entrance (a portal in Istrian stone) to the Ghetto Novissimo.

Can you see the point where once the door hinges of the gate – removed by violence in 1797 with the arrival of Napoleon – were fixed?

The oldest Ghetto in the world – Part I

Venezia: Ghetto Nuovo
Venezia: Ghetto Nuovo

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