Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 8875
Jewish Architecture
  Nahalat Israel Kloyz in Kaunas, Lithuania

© “Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue” Archives, Photographer: Červiakov, Vitalij, 2006

The Naḥalat Israel (Heritage of Israel) Kloyz stands in the middle of the block created by Gedimino, Kęstučio, Vaidilutės and Miško Streets, in the New Town. It was built before 1866 and probably damaged during WWI. In 1922 technician Leonas Markovičius prepared a design for the renovation of the kloyz and rebuilding of its upper part. The renovation was carried out with significant changes. In 1936 technician A. Šusteris designed a brick lavatory building, and a brick warehouse nearby two years later. In the summer of 1940 the congregation obtained permission to build an annex on the southern side after a design by technician Juozas Gudelis.

According to the 1922 design, the kloyz was based on a rectangular ground plan with an apse for the Torah ark on its eastern side. The prayer hall in the east was preceded by a two-storey part in the west with a narrow vestibule in the middle, flanked by two rooms with stoves. The women’s section above them was reached by two flights of stairs along the western façade that were accessed through doorways from the northern and southern sides.

The prayer hall with a slightly longer transverse axis was lit by fourteen pointed windows decorated by glazed Stars of David; a small oculus was situated in the apse. Contrary to the design, which shows metal columns, four masonry columns with simple capitals framed the bimah in the center of the hall, thereby forming a nine-bay layout. The Torah ark was situated in the eastern apse accentuated by a trefoil arch. According to the design, stoves were situated on both sides of the main entrance against the western wall. The women’s section was connected to the prayer hall by thirteen pointed openings arranged in groups of three in the center and five on each side.

The plastered façades were decorated by rusticated lesenes, applied to the corners of the building, to the longitudinal façade as a separation of the prayer hall from the two-storey part, and to the western façade stressing the central bay with the main entrance. Drawings by Gudelis from 1940 show that the façades were not carried out exactly according to Markovičius’s design. The western façade was two-storey, with rectangular windows on the ground floor and pointed windows on the first floor. The gable was decorated by a pointed window with a sharp triangular pediment resting on two lesenes – a form typical of 1920s Expressionism (Art Deco) that is still intact. The two oculi on the sides of the pediment are blocked today. Gudelis’s plans also indicate a staircase with a gallery in front of the façade, obviously an outer entrance to the women’s section, which might indicate that the planned interior staircases were not realized. The lateral façades had four large pointed windows in the prayer hall and three smaller ones on the first floor of the two-storey part. The eastern façade had a semicircular apse reaching about two-thirds of the height of the walls, flanked by three windows on either side.

A one-storey annex was attached to the western part of the southern façade in 1940.

Although the 1922 design for the kloyz employed a stylistic vocabulary of modest Historicism, the realized project made use of Expressionism (Art Deco) at least on the entrance façade.

Today (2007) the façades and interior of the former kloyz have changed, but the original form is still perceptible. The interior into two floors. All pointed windows, except for one in the western gable, were replaced by rectangular ones. The eastern façade has preserved the apse, but acquired rectangular windows in two registers. A low annex is added on the northern side of the façade, and a metal staircase is installed on its southern side. In the interior, the apse, accentuated by a trefoil arch, still exists on the present-day first floor. The four columns and the original ceiling divided into nine rectangular fields with chamfered corners imitating coffers have survived as well. Today (2007), the former Naḥalat Israel Kloyz houses offices, among them those of the Kaunas Jewish Community.

Summary and Remarks

212 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Nahalat Israel Kloyz in Kaunas | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
Before 1866
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
1922; 1940; after 1945
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Location
Lithuania | Kaunas County | Kaunas
| 26b Gedemino St.
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
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
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Office building
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
B (Fair)
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
2 (Regional)
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
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (eds.), Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, 2 vols. (Vilnius: VIlnius Academy of Art Press, 2010-12)
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |