Temple Israel Museum – Leadville, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Temple Israel Museum

This fully restored synagogue explores the American Jewish experience along the old frontier.  


At 10,000 feet above sea level, Leadville, Colorado is one of America’s highest towns. Just off the city’s main commercial street sits the Temple Israel Museum. The building was designed by George E. King and constructed by Robert Murdock in 1884 to serve the town’s growing Jewish community.

As the mining industry in the region declined, the Jewish population dwindled and the house of worship fell into disuse and disrepair. Over the years, the building served a variety of purposes until a restoration project began in 2008.

Today, the restored synagogue now houses a museum that details the Jewish history of Leadville. Inside includes a fascinating collection of objects that date back to the mid-1800s. It also serves as a research center.  

Though not stated at the synagogue, this may be the highest Jewish house of worship in the world as Leadville resides at 10,157 feet (3,094) above sea level.

Know Before You Go

The synagogue is located just a couple of blocks off of Leadville's historic Harrison Avenue.  

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September 24, 2020

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