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Grand Choral Synagogue

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Grand Choral Synagogue


Basic Information

Location 59.925°N 30.292°E
Phone number +7(812)713-8186
Country Russia
City Saint Petersburg

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://eng.jewishpetersburg.ru/
Geographical Coordinates 59.92508,30.29224


The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербургская Большая Хоральная Синагога), sometimes called the St. Petersburg Synagogue, is the second largest synagogue in Europe. It was built between 1880 and 1888, and consecrated in 1893.


The group of architects and supervisors for the first synagogue in St. Petersburg chose the Moorish style for its design, modeled in part after Berlin's Oranienburger Straße New Synagogue with its melange of Moorish and Byzantine motifs. In the end, the project boasted an eclectic blend of neo-Byzantine and Moorish revival styles with Arabesque motifs, upon the request of V. V. Stasov, the influential Russian art critic and supervisor of the project. The Great Choral Synagogue was designed by architects I.I. Shaposhnikov, L. Bakhman, and V.A. Shreter, with the participation of V. V. Stasov and N. L. Benois,[2] who was the curator of the project and the confidant of the Tsar and the Russian government. The land for the synagogue was allocated near the Mariinsky Theatre. The construction was carried out under the management of the Construction Committee headed by A.A. Kaufman. The architect and superintendent of construction was A.V. Malov, and his assistants were S.O. Klein and B.I. Girshovich, between 1880 and 1888. First, the Small Synagogue was opened in 1886. The Great Choral Synagogue was consecrated in 1893.

Reconstruction and Renaming

After the 5 million dollar donation by the Safra family in 1999, the reconstruction of the Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg was made between 2000 and 2005. Upon conditions of the donation the St. Petersburg Synagogue was renamed The Edmond J Safra Grand Choral Synagogue, although the community still calls it in Russian Bolshaya Sinagoga. In 2005 a new Mikvah was built from a design by Israeli architect M. Gorelik. The new Mikvah in the Grand Choral Synagogue was inaugurated on April 19, 2005. The Chief Rabbi of St. Petersburg is Menachem Mendel Pewzner. The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg is located at 2 Lermontovskii Prospekt, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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