Batumi Synagogue

Among Georgia's abundant historical and cultural treasures, the Batumi Synagogue stands as a compelling symbol of the country's rich diversity. Found across Georgia are seven distinct synagogues, each bearing witness to the country's unique blend of cultures. The presence of the Georgian Jews, who developed the Judeo-Georgian language known as Kivruli, adds another layer of intrigue to this vibrant mix.

Nestled on Vazha-Pshavela Street, the Batumi Synagogue, also known as the Stone Ashkenazi Synagogue, commands attention. Beyond an ornate iron fence adorned with intricate metalwork, one finds an imposing edifice punctuated by a wooden door and a symmetrical arrangement of round and oval windows.

This striking structure echoes the architectural aesthetics of the synagogues in Amsterdam and The Hague, showcasing a distinct European influence. The synagogue was designed and constructed by Simon Volkovich, a local architect, in 1904, and stands as a testament to the historical intricacies of the Jewish community in Batumi.

The synagogue's history is as intricate as its design. It was erected with the express permission of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, granted in response to a petition from the local Jewish community. However, the synagogue's original purpose was thwarted in the 1930s when it, like many other religious establishments, was forcibly closed by the Soviet government.

During the Communist regime, the building was repurposed to house gymnastic and fencing clubs, as well as the “Spartak” sports club. It wasn't until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 that the building was returned to the Jewish community and reinstated as a synagogue.

Today, the Batumi Synagogue continues to serve as a place of worship for Jews, especially on Saturdays and religious holidays. It also attracts groups of tourists from Israel and beyond, who flock to experience this enduring symbol of Batumi's historical legacy. Whether you're delving into Georgia's past or exploring its diverse cultural landscape, a visit to the Batumi Synagogue offers a fascinating glimpse into a vibrant, multi-faceted heritage.

Nearest to Batumi Synagogue

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