The synagogue is in the centre of the old Jewish ghetto (which existed from 1638 to 1859) and it is one of the biggest in Italy. Piazza Mazzini°° was opened specially to set off its beauty. In those years, there were many synagogues in the area, as the Hebraic community was large and influencial (though here interned during the night), following the Duke from Ferrara, when he was forced to move to Modena.
The edifice was built in 1873 by the architect Ludovico Maglietta, with a severe neoclassical facade. On the left there is another identical side: prayers are directed towards the East, different from the North South direction of the main facade. On the front, interesting Jewish writing, the Menorah and the tablets of Moses.
The interior has a wonderful dome painted by F. Manzini with golden stars on a blue background and huge columns supporting the women’s galleries.
The presence of the Synagogue in this central square of the town is a symbol of the today pacific integration of all religions minorities in Modena.