The Portuguese Synagogue is located on the edge of the center of The Hague. The building consists of three parts: the ancient Portuguese 'Snoge' on Jan Evertstraat, the office building with main entrance on Prinsessengracht, with the Glass Hall in between these spaces. The Portuguese Synagogue was designed around 1725 by architect Daniël Marot, who also designed the former city palace Kneuterdijk Palace. On the facade above the door is the year 5486, in Western era this is 1726. On 9 August of that year the synagogue was inaugurated with a great ceremony. Beneath the year is a Hebrew text which, translated, reads: "How lovely are your Dwellings". Since 1968 the synagogue has been used by the Liberal Jewish Community of Beth Yehuda. The synagogue was rededicated by this congregation on Friday evening, September 3, 1976.
Portuguese Jews in The Hague
Like many other cities, The Hague had a large Jewish community before the Second World War. Around 1940, The Hague had more than 17,000 Jewish inhabitants. The city had three Jewish neighbourhoods, namely a community in Scheveningen, in the Spui-Haven area and a smaller neighborhood near the Nieuwe Uitleg (the site of the Portuguese Synagogue). The Portuguese Jews (including Jewish people from Spain, Turkey and Salonika) came to Western Europe in the 16th century because of the takeover by Spain and the subsequent persecution of anyone who was not or did not want to become Roman Catholic.
The Glass Hall, located between the synagogue and the office building, was originally a courtyard. This is now covered and is used for various purposes. The Glass Hall is used for symposia, lectures, debates and dinners. For example, Bill Gates spoke during a meeting in the Glass Hall in 2014. The hall is also an official wedding location and has the potential for a reception afterwards. Rental options for the hall can be discussed by contacting the Glass Hall.
The Portuguese Synagogue is very easy to reach due to its location. From The Hague Central station you can take tram 9 one stop, which stops almost in front of the door. Walking from the station is just under ten minutes. On the other side of the street is Parking Malieveld where the car can be parked.