Lithuania: wooden synagogue in Varėna put on heritage list

 

The Cultural Heritage Department of the Lithuanian Culture Ministry has listed the modest wooden synagogue in Varėna, Lithuania on the roster of cultural heritage sites as being “of local significance and important for its architecture and as a memorial.”

Believed to have been built in the 19th century and rebuilt in 1922, the synagogue, according to the announcement, has a stone and mortar foundation supporting a wooden building. Some of the original windows have survived.

The building is currently privately owned, after serving for three decades as Varėna’s House of Culture — the google maps street view above is from 2012, when it was the House of Culture.

Before World War II, Eastern Europe was home to hundreds of often elaborate wooden synagogues. The only ones to survive were perhaps a score of small, simple synagogue buildings, most of them in Lithuania.

Several of these have been under reconstruction, including the wooden synagogues in Pakruojis and Ziezmariai in Lithuania, and in Rezekne and Ludza in Latvia.

See the full announcement in Lithuanian

See an English summary on the Jewish community web site

 

 

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