The Jewish Museum of Rome is situated in the basement of the Great Synagogue of Rome and offers both information on the Jewish presence in Rome since the second century BCE and a large collection of works of art produced by the Jewish community.
Following the unification of Italy in 1870, the Jews were granted citizenship of Italy. As a result of agreement between the Jewish Community and the city authorities the Roman Ghetto was demolished towards the end of the 19th Century. The building that housed the Ghetto synagogue which, in fact, contained five synagogues representing different traditions, was torn down in 1908 but its fixed furnishings including holy arches and thrones were saved. Also, in 1875, the city embarked on an ambitious programme to build up embankments along the River Tiber to provide protection from flooding, including of the area formerly occupied by the Ghetto. The Great Synagogue was constructed in the former Ghetto area, close to the river, and was completed in 1904.
The museum was established in 1960. It was initially set up in a room behind the Torah ark of the Great Synagogue. In 1980 the staircase leading to the museum was decorated with stained glass by the artist Eva Fischer. To permit expansion the museum was moved to the basement of the Great Synagogue next to the Spanish Synagogue and officially opened in 2005. This meant replacing other facilities, such as a gym, a theatre and meeting rooms.
The art collection in the museum has largely been donated by members of the Community. It reflects the long history of Jews in Rome and, in particular, the Ghetto period (1555–1870) when all Jews from Rome and surrounding areas were forced to live in a small area. The collection includes around 900 liturgical and ceremonial textiles, illuminated parchments, around 100 marble pieces and about 400 pieces of silverwork. Also displayed are some of the many documents held in the Community’s archives.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.