The Synagogue of Rome, the largest in Europe, was built between 1901-1904 on one of the four plots of land that were recovered from the demolition of the Ghetto's most dilapidated sections. The Roman Jews expressed a desire to have their temple erected between the two greatest symbols of Rome's recently re-found liberty:
the Campidoglio - Rome's Town Hall, with its nearby monument to Victor Emanuel II, and the Janiculum Hill, scene of the Risorgimento's fiercest fighting, and thus the site of Garibaldi's monument. Furthermore, they wanted the Temple to be large enough to be visible from all the city's highest points.
Because this was to become one of the first synagogues designed as such, the architecture took precedence over any particular style. The result is a truly eccentric building inspired by Assyrian and Babylonian concepts.
For Roman Jews, the Synagogue is not merely a place of prayer but an essential cultural center with a museum exhibiting the history of Jewish life in Rome. It is also a reference point for all Jewish religious and political bodies. Although not all of Rome's 15,000 Jews live in the ghetto area, they still form a large and important Italian community. Even though they maintain their own identity, they contribute heavily to the city's cultural life.