Work is progressing on the restoration of the ruined synagogue in Edirne, Turkey. The restored building will be used as a municipal cultural center, but Edirne governor Hasan Duruer told local media that Jews will also be able to use it for religious rites. He said the restoration should be completed by the end of this year.
“The Jewish community has come to me to share their desire to both pray and hold weddings in the synagogue once renovations are complete. And I told them that they could hold as many religious ceremonies and weddings in the synagogue as they like. The Great Synagogue will be a place where the Jewish community can feel free to practice their religion and hold wedding ceremonies,” Duruer was quoted as saying.
The synagogue, with two low side towers and tripartite facade, was built in 1907 to replace the city’s 13 synagogues that had been destroyed in a fire that swept Edirne in 1905.
It was used by the Jewish community until the 1970s and 1980s, but abandoned in 1983 and stood derelict for years. Its roof collapsed in 1997, leaving only the walls and facade.