Trieste is a port in northern Italy. The first record of Jews dates from the late 14th century when the city was annexed by Austria. At the start of World War II, there were about 6,000 Jews in the city. By 1943, about 2,300 remained. After the War, about 1,500 Jews remained. Today, there are less than a 1,000 Jews left in the city.
In 1912, the imposing Tempio Israelitico was dedicated and replaced four 18th century predecessors. The synagogue was designed by two Christian architects, Ruggiero and Arduino Berlam. The style has been described as follows:
"The exterior style was said to be late Roman of a type found in fourth-century Syria, and the architects chose it because it brought them close as possible to ancient Jewish architecture. Jews in the Holy Land and throughout the Roman Empire had used Roman forms. Syria was near enough to the Holy Land to incorporate design elements used by Jews. A synagogue in this style could suggest the wide geographic distribution of Jews, both in the Roman Empire and in modern times. It could suggest the proximity of Jews to others within the ancient and the modern Roman (that is, Hapsburg) empires. It could suggest the Jews' Middle Eastern origin without making them look too close to Byzantine Christians or to Moslems." Carole Herselle Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe, P. 372
The two postcards below depict the Tempio Israelitico. The first card is postmarked 1913 when Trieste was still part of Austria, and the second card was not used for postal purposes.
Encyclopedia Judaica, CD Rom Edition, Keter Publishing
Carole Herselle Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe, P. 369-73
Copyright © 1998-99 Edward Victor