It is a Sephardic synagogue which was constructed in 1675. It is believed that the community of Amsterdam Sephardic is one of the richest and biggest Jewish groups in the European subcontinent especially during the Golden Age of the Dutch. The synagogue is a living symbol of the rich heritage of the Jewish community and has the ability to attract tourists throughout the year. There was a time when Jews comprised over ten percent of the entire population living in Amsterdam which ended at the time of Holocaust. Many Jews were forced to escape to Amsterdam after facing persecution in Portugal and Spain. In Netherlands, they enjoyed a feeling of religious tolerance which can hardly be found in the remaining countries of Europe.
It is said that a temple of Salomon located in Jerusalem was used for inspiring the architects. We had to pay a very nominal €6.5 in order to enter the synagogue. The main building is surrounded by a mortuary, Ets Haim or Tree of Life, the rabbinate and different archives and offices. The sight of the wooden Tebah and Ark found in the interiors on the opposite sides was simply amazing. One of the members of the synagogue informed us that around 1000 candles are lit in two massive brass chandeliers at the time of service.