The Mole Antonelliana is probably the most special landmark of Turin. Originally planned as a synagogue by the Turin architect Alessandro Antonelli (1798–1888), the Mole Antonelliana was the
second highest accessible building in the world, after the Washington Monument in Washington D.C., when it was completed in spring of 1889, at 167.5 metres. Since the original owner, the Jewish
community of Turin, had run out of money during the construction period, the city took over the building in 1877, which today serves as the seat of the National Cinema Museum. It takes little
imagination and local knowledge to recognise the characteristic steep roof shape of the Mole Antonelliana in the official emblem of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Since Turin is not only
the urban centre of Piedmont, but also at the foot of the Alps, the emblem symbolises the rising flank of a mountain or a pattern of ice crystals found in the snow
and glaciers of the Italian Alps. Metaphorically, the emblem also shows the aspiration of an athlete who detaches himself from the crowd on his way to victory. The winning design aimed to emphasize the values on which the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games are based: the interfaces between city and country, mountain and valley, culture and nature, technology and tradition, transparency and commitment.