Tourist Attraction in Asti: Sinagoga e Museo Ebraico
The synagogue with an annexed Jewish Museum is an 18th century building located in Ottolenghi Street, formerly San Bernardino district. It is probable that most of the astigian Jews arrived in the 16th century, following the dialect of 1492, from Spain, Provence and Rhine. They were located along the Aliberti street (in the San Secondo district) with short ramifications of some alleyways on the left . At this time, a synagogue already existed in the heart of the ghetto, being the "home of collectivity" (beth hakkeneseth). In fact, he displayed not only religious functions, but also civil and welfare issues, such as, for example, trading acts or directing the social diatribes of the community. In fact, there are wooden and fabric furnishings from the 16th and 17th centuries. The earliest testimony of the primitive building dates back to 1601: it is a complaint of the bishop of Asti about the "too much" proximity of the Jewish synagogue to the churches of San Secondo and San Bernardino. Before that date, it is likely that a room shared by a private family in their own home would serve as a common oratory, as documented in early 1599. When the barriers of the ghetto fell in 1848, a synagogue renovation was necessary. The work was carried out under the direction of the geometry Carlo Benzi, who was the author of some buildings in Asti, and with the financing of the families Artom and Ottolenghi. If the synagogue of Asti is artistically inferior to those of Turin, Alessandria and Casale Monferrato, it maintains an original stylistic stamp. In the temple we see today there is a simple neoclassical façade, with a portal framed by four "Ionian" columns holding a greeting with a greeting. Inside, a vestibule, on the left side of which is access to the choir and the "small temple" (a room reserved for minor rituals and covered with commemorative commemorative graves), on the right side there is access to the stairs of the women's gallery. Forward there is a quadrangular space, divided into three aisles, with "barrel vault". At the center a small dome resting on four columns in fake marble. Almost all solid walnut benches have a brass plate with the name or number of the owner of the place (the sale of the "fixed" place was one of the main community funding resources). The presbytery contains a table for sacred texts and some wooden supports for the reading of the "Torah", at the bottom of the "Arno" or Arch of Santa, the work of the Bonzanigo workshop and masterpiece of ebanisteria made in 1809: it is a wall cabinet Composed of eight sculptured and golden panels; Each panel has a different symbol: The seven-armed candlestick The Ark of the Alliance The table with the twelve plates of preposition The altar with the flame The turibol (it serves to burn incense in grains and essences) The vases with the lustrous water The fruits A hand pouring from a pitcher into a bush the water of purification A written letter above. Know, before whom you are, this is the gate of the Lord, the just will enter it.