Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 108
Jewish Architecture
  Great Beit Midrash in Kėdainiai, Lithuania

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Khaimovich, Boris, 1993

The Great Beit Midrash is a brick plastered building of rectangular plan, covered with a tin gable roof. The exterior emphasizes the inner structure: lesenes mark the building’s corners, and divide the side façades into two bays – a richly decorated part of the prayer hall in the southeast and a modest two-storey part in the northwest. The southeastern façade and the bays of the northeastern and southwestern façades, which correspond to the prayer hall, have four segment-headed tall windows each. Every window is surrounded by a plaster frame topped with a bent pediment and decorated with a fielded panel beneath the sill. The bays are crowned with a stepped zigzag frieze beneath the molded cornice. In the center of the southeastern façade a blind window indicates the interior placement of the Torah ark. The façade is topped with a high triangular gable containing a wide rectangular window with a sumptuous plaster framing and three small oculi on the sides and at the top. The opposite, northwestern façade is crowned with a triangular gable, pierced by two rectangular windows, which are flanked in their turn by two oculi and framed with raking and horizontal molded cornices; the latter runs around the building. This façade, as well as the two-storey bays of the side façades, are divided horizontally by two stringcourses on the level of the window sills of both floors. All the windows are rectangular, void of any decoration: two on each floor of each side façade, and four on each floor of the northwestern one. The main entrance portal with an architrave molding is situated in the center of the northwestern façade; it is surmounted by a wide rectangular window on the first floor. The side entrance, leading to the stairs of the women’s section on the upper floor, was situated in a small annex, attached to the northeastern façade.

In the interior, the western part of the building comprised a central vestibule flanked by two shtiblekh, above which the women’s section was situated. It is connected to the prayer hall by twelve pointed openings. The prayer hall is lit by twelve windows. Four massive central columns support the flat ceiling which is divided into nine octagonal coffers with central molded paterae. Judging from a photograph from the 1930s, which shows a brick chimney, a stove was situated next to the norhwestern wall of the hall. The stove is not preserved, nor are the glazing bars in the windows of the prayer hall, arranged as Stars of David. The Torah ark and the bimah, situated in the center of the hall among four columns, are also missing, but the niche in the center of the southeastern wall, where the ark was situated, has survived, even though its original shape remains unknown.

In the Soviet period the building was reconstructed, the interior was partially destroyed, an additional floor was inserted, but the exterior, as captured in a pre–WWII photograph, remained almost unchanged. In 2001–2 the building was renovated and converted into a multicultural center after a design by Diana Pikšrienė.

 

16 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Great Beit Midrash in Kėdainiai | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1857
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
After 1945; 2001
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Lithuania | Kaunas County | Kėdainiai
| 12 Senosios Rinkos, Kėdainiai
Site
Unknown
School/Style
|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Brick
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Educational Institution
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
A (Good)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style

Interior layout is partially preserved.

Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Part of shulhoyf
Significance Rating
3 (National)
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
Southeast
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
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconsdivuction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.