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Obj. ID: 104
Jewish Architecture
  Great Synagogue in Oshmiany, Belarus

© “Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue” Archives, Photographer: Unknown, 2009

The synagogue may have been built in the mid-19th century, in the Neo-Classicist style. Its brick walls are decorated with pilasters that echo the pilasters in the prayer hall (both have corner pilasters and coupled pilasters in the center of the walls). The placement of pilasters in the interior allows us to assume that the vaults initially rested upon a bimah support situated in the center of the prayer hall.

The main entrance to the synagogue is situated in the western façade. The women’s section is on the upper floor of the western volume above the vestibule. Its entrance was by a wooden staircase attached to the southern façade (not preserved).

The Hebrew newspaper Hamelitz (No. 179, 12[25].8.1902, p. 2-3) stated that the synagogue was re-inaugurated in August 1902, and that the repair was undertaken by the gabbai (warden) of the synagogue, Horovitz. It stands to reason that the repair included the demolition of the original vaults, bimah, and the construction of a new wooden dome on the interior and a new roof. It seems also that the original windows of the prayer hall were enlarged and a round window above the Torah ark was inserted (or remodeled). The women’s section was connected to the prayer hall through five large arches. The western gable of the new roof was decorated by two wooden figures of lions (the southern lion is still preserved).

Judging from the style of paintings of the interior dome and of the Zodiac signs, it is probable that another renovation was undertaken in the 1920s before the measured drawings of 1929 were prepared.

After WWII, the building was transformed into a storage facility. Some of the windows and the arcade of the women’s section were bricked up and a wooden gallery was erected in the prayer hall. Three wide gateways were made on the eastern wall and later bricked up as well. 

3 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Great Synagogue in Oshmiany | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1902
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Yes
Documented by CJA
Yes
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Storage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
C (Poor)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka, Bramy Nieba: Bóżnice murowane na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej (Warsaw, 1999).
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
Carmen Echevarria | 2016
Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.