Stories

Touro Synagogue

by Jorge Sanchez - 4 years, 10 months ago

I reached Rhode Island from Canada. I had to take the bus Greyhound since near the borders people are afraid to give you a ride when hitch hiking. The place received its name from an Italian navigator, Giovanni da Verrazzano, who travelled to America in 1524, because it coasts reminded him the Island of Rhodes, in Greece. I arrived early in the morning to Newport and decided to spend the whole day visiting the most interesting tourists’ attractions. First I walked until Touro Synagogue. A sign at the entrance said that it was erected in the year 5603, which translated into Christian means the year 1759 of our Era. The premises were free, but in order to visit it inside they wanted me to pay for a ticket, what I refused since I was almost broken, eating only once a day. The price was only 5 dollars, but with 5 dollars I can buy in the supermarket bread, cheese, an orange juice and a coffee. Touro Synagogue is the oldest one in North America (not in America, being the Synagogue in Curaçao Island the older one in that continent). The outside aspect looks rigorous, but inside is a wonder (when a group of tourists arrived I could camouflage myself among them and visited it!). I continued my walk and arrived to Bellevue Street and started a walk of about three hours to visit most of the 60 luxurious mansions along that street and then I turned left until the coast, bordering the sea, and made the Cliff walk to visit them from the back side. The seven houses that I loved most were: - MARBLE MANSION: It belonged to the millionaire William Vanderbilt, the grandson of a millionaire who made a fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad. Some say that the architect (Hunt) was inspired in the White House of Washington and also in the Petit Trianon, Versailles. They charged a fee to visit it inside, so I only saw its exterior. In this mansion people say that inside there is more gold than marble, but, generally speaking, people speak generally. ----------------------- - BELCOURT HOUSE: In this house they offered ghost shows with ultra-tomb phenomenons. During them you will hear noise of chains, sheets flying and voices from the other world. It belonged to Perry Belmont, who inherited a fortune from his father, the Rothschild Banking representative in USA. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ - DE LA SALLE HOUSE: It was built between 1882 and 1884. It was a school, but today it is a condominium. I loved it because during my visit there was a show of old cars. I was allowed to visit it without buying entry ticket. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ASTORS’ BEACHWOOD HOUSE: This is today a living History Museum. They sell tickets and you see the Victorian style life of its ancient owners, role played by theatre actors. If you have plenty of money, you can hire the house for your wedding. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- - GREEN ANIMALS HOUSE: In this territory the most amazing was to see the animals’ garden, rather than the house. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - BREAKERS HOUSE: This is one of the most famous houses in the Cliff Walk. Built in a Renaissance style (based in a XVI palazzo from Genoa or Turin) built in 1895 for the family of Cornelius Vanderbilt. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ISAAC BELL HOUSE: Isaac Bell was a wealthy cotton broker and investor. It was built in 1883. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- After Newport I continued my journey to “Phili”, from where I took a plane back to Spain.


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