The Jewish Community of Gorizia: the Ghetto and the Synagogue

The exterior of the synagogue of Gorizia in 2012

Jews have maintained a presence in Gorizia since at least the 14th century. In 1698 the modern Ghetto, illustrated here through 20th century photographs, was established. The present-day synagogue was built in 1756, renovated in 1894 and rebuilt after the First World War. The photographs show the location of the Ghetto within the town, the street (today via Ascoli) hosting the main entrance of the synagogue and the inner courtyard with its side entrance (as indicated by two arrows). The two last photographs show an inner courtyard of the Ghetto and the home of one the Gorizia's most eminent scholars, the Jewish linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli (1829-1907).

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Gorizia served as a site of transit and refuge for many Jewish emigrants escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. The city continued to play this role during the interwar period, when the Jewish community comprised 323 members (1931). In 1930, it also included the smaller communities of Udine, the main centre of Friuli, and San Daniele del Friuli, a town north-west of Udine.

The synagogue of Gorizia was damaged by bombing during the First World War, when the city suffered large-scale destructions. This damage was documented in post-war publications on the devastations of war such as Kunstschutz im Kriege, edited by Paul Clemen and published in 1919.


“Square in Gorizia after bombing”
Source: Kunstschutz im Kriege, ed. by P. Clemen, Leipzig, 1919, p. 11