Once widely known as Yerushalayim De Lita the "Jerusalem of Lithuania", Vilnius once was comparable only to Jerusalem, Israel, as a world center for the study of the Torah, and for its large Jewish population. That is why one part of Vilnius was named Jeruzalë. At the end of the 19th century, the number of synagogues in Vilnius exceeded one hundred.
The only Synagogue that remains is the Choral Synagogue, all others were destroyed during the Nazi genocide.
Once Vilnius had as many as 105 synagogues, yet only one of them is still there. Built in the Moorish style in 1903, the building has a facade bearing an inscription in Hebrew which can be translated as 'A house of prayer is a holy place for all people'. On the tympanum we can see the tablets of Moses. The Synagogue was closed and devastated by the Germans in 1941. It reverted to the Jewish citizens of Vilnius only in 1991.
Inside there is a separate gallery for women and a choir loft with a small organ. As it was Saturday, the Sabbath, we didn't even try to go in not to disturb the prayers so we don't know if the restoration of the interior has been completed. A little later we came across a nice Jewish man in his traditional attire who may have been returning from the prayers.
Vilnius has always been a multinational city. It's good to see this long-lasting tradition revived.
Before WWII Vilnius had about 100 jewish Synagogues and prayer houses. Nowadays only one of these remains.
The Jewish Synagogue was built in Moorish style at the beginning of the 19th century. Over the entrance plaques with laws of Moses can be seen.
Vilnius' Jewish Synagogue is situated at Pylimo gatve 39, just inbetween the old town and the train station.
Synagogue, Pylimo gatve 39, Vilnius
One of the few synagogue left in Vilnius. This one was built in 1905.
Lithuania's Jewish community was one of the Jewish world's greatest community and Vilnius was called "The Jerusalem of Lithuania".
Before WWII and the holocaust it is estimated that about 40% of Vilnius' population was Jewish. Today, the community is much smaller.
So many Jews were killed in Lithuania. There is almost nothing left, except for this beautifull synagogue. Go and have a look at the history here.
This synagogue was built in 1905 and is the biggest of Vilnius. Before the holocaust Vilnius had a huge Jewish community. Today the community has less then 40% members then before 1945.