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Obj. ID: 30181
Jewish Architecture
  Wooden synagogue in Kurkliai, Lithuania

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Kravtsov, Sergey, 2017

This is the wooden synagogue built in 1936 after the design by Povilas Jurėnas. It is situated on the eastern side of the Salomėjos Nėries Street, near the southeastern bank of a stream. Its design combined a traditional synagogue layout with such Expressionist features as a tower asymmetrically placed in the southwestern corner to emphasize the main entrance, triangular gabled windows and dormers.

The building is a log structure on a masonry foundation. The log walls are reinforced with vertical posts. The structure is elongated on a southwest–northeast axis, and is 11.85 m long, 7.88 m wide and 6.95 m high above the foundation. The synagogue is topped with a hipped tin roof with triangular dormers on its southern and northern slopes. The tower above the main entrance is topped with a separate tin roof. According to the design, the tower was decorated by two Stars of David. The design shows a prayer hall in the southeast and the twostorey part in the northwest, comprising three rooms on the ground floor and a women’s section on the first floor. The prayer hall was a broad house, lit by eight tall windows with triangular heads: three windows each on the southwestern and northeastern walls and two windows on the southeastern wall, flanking the Torah ark. The ark stood on the axis of the southeastern wall, the bimah was situated close to the center of the prayer hall, shifted to the rear. The pews were arranged in three symmetrical blocks: two on the both sides of the bimah, facing northeast, with five rows in each block; one row of pews stood between the bimah and the Torah ark. Two stoves were attached to the northwestern wall. The women’s section was connected to the prayer hall through two wide openings. It held two blocks of pews, three rows in each. On the ground floor was a men’s vestibule in the south, accessed by an entrance in the southwestern façade; a staircase to the women’s section in the north, with a separate entrance from the same side; and a heated room between the staircase and the vestibule, connected by a wide opening to the prayer hall (it may have been a small prayer room). This part of the building was lit by rectangular windows, set in two tiers on its three sides.

After WWII the former synagogue served for storage, and since the 1990s it stands abandoned. All its windows are blocked up. A large barn gate was cut through the southeastern wall of the prayer hall, partially demolishing two original windows. The original partitions and furniture are lost, and the interior is a single space, although vestiges of the partitions are still visible.

 

29 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Wooden synagogue in Kurkliai | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1936
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
2021
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Lithuania | Utena County | Kurkliai
| Salomėjos Nėries St.
Site
Unknown
Period
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
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Colors
Construction material
Measurements
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Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
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
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Number of Lines
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Pricking
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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
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Colophon
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Group
Group
Group
Group
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Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

CJA documentation;

Marija Rupeikienė, "Synagogues of Lithuania," in Lithuanian Synagogues (Exhibition Catalogue) (Vilnius: The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, 1997) p. 31, ill on p. 28;

Marija Rupeikienė, Nykstantis kultūros paveldas: Lietuvos sinagogų architektūra (Vilnius, 2003), p. 159 ill. 143;

Marija Rupeikienė, "Medinės Lietuvos sinagogos," in Alfredas Jomantas (ed.), Medinė architektūra Lietuvoje (Vilnius, 2002), p. 77 with ills at the end of the book;

Rossiiskaia evreiskaia entsiklopediia (Moscow), vol. 5 - 2004, vol. 5, p. 243

https://www.lzb.lt/ru/2021/11/07/%d0%b2-%d0%ba%d1%83%d1%80%d0%ba%d0%bb%d1%8f%d0%b9-%d0%be%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b5%d1%81%d1%82%d0%b0%d0%b2%d1%80%d0%b8%d1%80%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bd%d0%be-%d0%b7%d0%b4%d0%b0%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%b5-%d0%b1%d1%8b%d0%b2/

https://jewish-heritage-europe.eu/2021/11/14/lithuania-update-wooden-synagogues/


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)
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Negative/Photo. No.