Venetian Ghetto
  • Europe /
  • Italy /
  • Venice

A short itinerary focused on the history of Europe's oldest ghetto

Scola Grande Tedesca
Heritage place of interest.

The Ashkenazi Rite Scola is on the top floor of a building in Campo Ghetto Novo. It is distinguishable by its five windows and two Hebrew inscriptions above them. The setting up of the Great German School began in 1527-28 and underwent a complete restoration in the late Baroque style in the 1700s. 

This Scola has trapezoidal plans making it a unique example that stands out from other rectangular synagogues. The “bimah” (Raised platform for reading Torah, comparable to a pulpit) and the “Aron Ha-Kodesh” (Sacred Closet containing the scrolls of the law) are in an inverted position. The bimah was originally placed in the centre of the room but was moved in the early 1800s to prevent static problems. This shifting of the bimah resulted in the closing from the inside of two of the five windows, all of which are still visible from the outside.


1. The origin of the name

2. The architecture

3. The economy

4. Synagogues

5. Scola Grande Tedesca

6. Scola Canton

7. Scola Italiana