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Obj. ID: 16113
Jewish Architecture
  Great Synagogue in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Ukrzakhidprojectrestavratsiia, 1998

The Great Synagogue, built 1855-60 to the designs of the architect Volman, about whom nothing else in currently known, is a profoundly urban structure. The synagogue’s high prayer hall was surrounded by two tiers of women’s galleries. In the beginning of the 20th century, the rabbi of the Great Synagogue was Bliashev.  Prayers in the Great Synagogue were conducted with a chorus and a cantor; there were three cantors in the synagogue itself and the community invited additional cantors from other cities. In 1905, the synagogue was renovated and a newTorahArk was built. In the synagogue building there were also several small shops, which were rented out.

In the 1920s-1930s, the synagogue was closed by the authorities. After the World War II, a textile college was placed in the building.

The main southwest facade, three stories tall, forms a distinct central bay, flanked by two lesser bays.  A cornice divides the building between the second and third stories. On the lower portion of the main facade, the bays have double sets of windows on each floor, separated by vertical decorative elements.  On the side facades, the windows are reduced from two 2x4 to a single set of 3x4, further emphasizing the significance of the main facade.  On all the bays of the main facade, both double and single-story bays are capped by small, round-headed cornice.

The top bays on the side facades repeat the decorative cornice only on the bay closest to the main facade; the others contain single windows: 3 round-headed 2x4 and a single 3x4 at the end furthest from the main facade.  The central bay of the main facade rises to a gable.  The central bay of the side facades is marked in the roofline by a slight overhang, which emphasizes the location and centrality.

The internal arrangement is strongly symmetrical but is only slightly reflected in the facades.  Flanking the entryway are two small rooms.  Beyond this area are staircases, one on each side of the building, which give access to the upper stories.  The main sanctuary space, oriented northeast is rectangular (pierced by columns, which may be a later addition).  The women’s gallery is on the two upper levels on the southeast and northwest sides of the sanctuary space, yielding a total of four separate spaces.

Much internal reconstruction makes any analysis meaningless.

Summary and Remarks

11 image(s)

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Name/Title
Great Synagogue in Bila Tserkva | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1854-64
Synagogue active dates
Until 1930 (?)
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
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
Educational Institution
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
CJA documentation; Jewish Cemeteries, Synagogues, and mass grave sites in Ukraine. United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad (Washington D.C., 2005); Rossiiskaia evreiskaia entsiklopediia (Moscow), vol. 4 - 2000, p. 93 with ill.; Vladimir Likhodedov, Synagogues (Minsk, 2007), ill. 167 on p. 89; Hamelits, 1864, no. 36, p. 567; Zvi Gitelman, A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present (New York, 1988), ill. on p. 54; Hamelits, no. 21, 26.01(7.2).1898, p. 7
Type
Documenter
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Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |