Located in Newport, Touro Synagogue, dedicated in 1762, is the oldest synagogue in the United States and the only one that survives from the colonial era. The congregation was founded in 1658 by Sephardim, descendants of Marranos who fled the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal and who were themselves seeking a haven from religious persecution in the Caribbean. The synagogue was designed by noted colonial architect Peter Harrison and is considered one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture in America. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1946. Today, it continues to serve an active congregation.