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Judaism monuments

Szeged Synagogue, Hungary
Szeged Synagogue / Gabi Agu, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue Described Judaism monuments

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WorldYellow What is included in this category?

Judaism is one of the oldest active religions in the world – it is considered to be more than 3000 years old. This religion originated in Israel and Judea and Judaists believe that God revealed his laws and commandments to Jewish religious leader Moses. These revelations are called Torah – and were presented by God in written (Torah) and oral form (Talmud).

Capernaum synagogue, Israel
Capernaum synagogue / Eddie Gerald, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Judaism is religion which identifies also nationality – person converting to Judaism is considederd to be a Jew.

In Judaism the concept of the house of prayer differs from most other religions. Jews consider that their true temple is the almost totally destroyed Temple (Palestine, West Bank, Jerusalem). Nowadays only the giant Western Wall (Wailing Wall) remains of it.

Other Jewish houses of prayer – synagogues – are built for gatherings, prayer and education and are not considered to be temples. Thus synagogues are adjusted to local styles of architecture of different countries of the world.

Many synagogues around the world serve as fascinating monuments to the rich history of Jews – such as El Ghriba Synagogue (Tunisia, Djerba) or legendary Old New Synagogue (Czech Republic, Prague).

WorldViolet Top 25 Judaism monuments


El Ghriba synagogue


One of the oldest synagogues in the world. It houses the oldest Sefer Torah – a handwritten Torah.

El Ghriba synagogue
El Ghriba synagogue. / Citizen59, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0


Temple Mount


A sacred site of huge importance for many millennia. This has been a sacred site for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Roman paganism. According to Judaism some aspect of Divine Presence is present here. On the mount has been built Al Aqsa Mosque – the third most sacred site for Muslims and the Dome of the Rock with Foundation Stone (the most important site for Judaists), as well as several more valuable structures. Also – one of the most contested religious sites in the world, especially between Judaists and Muslims. Here started the development of Jerusalem in the 4th millennium BC. Under the Temple Mount is a maze of underground passages.

Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem
Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem / אסף.צ, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Dome of the Rock


A Muslim shrine, constructed in 691 AD over the Second Jewish Temple and refurbished many times since then. Intended as a shrine for pilgrims and not a mosque. The building is not typical for Islamic architecture (in Byzantine style) as this was an attempt to compete with Christian and other architecture in Jerusalem. At the heart of this building is Foundation Stone – the most sacred site for Judaists. The large, gilded dome of this building is one of the most noticeable features in the Jerusalem skyline. A model for Templar churches around Europe.

Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock. / sonic182, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Dura-Europos synagogue


Ruins of one of the oldest synagogues in the world, built in 244 AD. This building is adorned with wall paintings.

Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi


Rock cut tombs – catacombs, where the last Hebrew Bible prophets might be buried. Created around the 1st century BC. In the cliff are hewn two concentric passages with 38 burial niches.

Beth Alpha synagogue


Remnants of an ancient synagogue, built in the 6th century AD. The building has a very interesting floor: it is covered with inscriptions and mosaics that include the Zodiac Wheel and the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham.

Beth Alpha Synagogue, floor with the Zodiac Wheel
Beth Alpha Synagogue, floor with the Zodiac Wheel. / Ricardo Tulio Gandelman, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Sidon Synagogue


One of the oldest synagogues in the world, built in 833, possibly on the site of an older synagogue. According to Bible here or nearby preached Jesus.

Western Wall (Wailing Wall)


An important Jewish religious site, it is the only remaining part of the Second Temple that was constructed around 19 BC. Throughout history, this also has been an important site for the politics of the Near East, due to different events related to the access of the Jews to this wall. The wall is exposed for 60 m, an additional 485 m are available along with a Western Wall Tunnel. Contains Western Stone – 517 tonnes heavy monolith, one of the largest building blocks in the world.

Western Wall, Jerusalem
Western Wall, Jerusalem / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Beit El Synagogue


An important center for kabbalistic studies, established in 1737.

Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue


Synagogue from Byzantine times, from the late 6th or the early 7th century AD.

Kfar Bar’am synagogue


Ruins of an ancient synagogue that was built in the 2nd – 4th century AD. The synagogue is preserved up to the second-floor level. Interesting artwork here is a sculptural group of two lions.

Kfar Bar'am Synagogue
Kfar Bar’am Synagogue. / MASQUERAID, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Wadi Qelt Synagogue


The oldest known synagogue, from 70 – 50 BC. Simple building.


Dohány Street Synagogue


The largest synagogue in Europe with seats for 3 000 people. This ornate building was constructed in the Moorish Revival style in 1859.

Dubrovnik Synagogue


The oldest Sefardic synagogue in use in the world, the second oldest synagogue in Europe. Established in 1352, still serves for worship.

Santa María la Blanca


Oldest standing synagogue building in Europe, although not used as a synagogue. Built in 1180 in ornate Moorish style.

Mole Antonelliana


Very tall building for its time of construction. This 167.5-meter-tall structure was planned as a synagogue but upon its completion, it was turned into a museum.

Old New Synagogue


The oldest active synagogue in Europe, constructed in 1270 as one of the first Gothic-style buildings in the city. Linked to legends about Golem.

Szeged Synagogue


Enormous and impressive synagogue in Eclectic style, built in 1907.

Subotica Synagogue


A beautiful synagogue that was built in Art Nouveau style in 1901 – 1902.

Subotica Synagogue, Serbia
Subotica Synagogue / VinceB, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Spanish Synagogue in Prague


A beautiful structure, built in 1868 in a Moorish Revival style. The synagogue has got a very ornate interior.

Old Synagogue in Kraków


The oldest existing synagogue in Poland that was built in Gothic style in the 15th century. Fortified building.

Vilnius Kenesa


One of the last Karaite synagogues, an ornate building with an onion dome. Built in 1911 – 1923.

Vilnius Kenesa
Vilnius Kenesa / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Trakai Kenesa


One of the few surviving Karaite synagogues in the world, a wooden structure built in the 18th century.

North America

Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue

Curaçao (country in the Kingdom of Netherlands)

The oldest extant synagogue building in the Americas, built in 1692 and reconstructed in 1732.

Nidhe Israel Synagogue


One of the oldest synagogues in the Americas, originally built in 1654 and rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century.

WorldYellow Recommended books


In Judaism, by Israel Abrahams, the writer has attempted in this Jewish history text to take up a few of the most characteristic points in Jewish doctrine and Jewish practice and to explain some of the various phases through which they have passed, since the first centuries of the Christian era.

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