Opening of Ludza Grand synagogue after restoration

19.08.2016

Yesterday, on 11th of August, Ludza Great Synagogue, which now has become the center of Ludza Region Research, has opened after restoration. The synagogue presents the exposition that tells about its history, as well as an exposition dedicated to Ludza photographer Wolf Frank and his son - the world-famous filmmaker Herz Frank.

Ludza Great Synagogue is the oldest wooden synagogue in North Eastern Europe, built in 1800. On several occasions, it was rebuilt in the XIX century. It is the only building in the region that has remained a dome, which is decorated with a starry sky simulation - traditional architectural element of synagogues. Currently, Ludza’s Great Synagogue is the only remaining of the former 7 synagogues of Ludza. During the Holocaust it was included in the ghetto, after the mass shootings of Ludza jews in spring and summer 1941, the Ludza roman prisoners were kept there before their shooting. Later it was used as an auto manufactory. After 1944 the synagogue resumed divine services, and the synagogue actively functioned until the 1970s. Even after that it held divine services several times a year, up to 1990. Then the congregation was almost abandoned, and it remained in poor technical conditions.

In 2012 the restoration project of the synagogue has started under the direction of well-known architect Peteris Bloom. The funfing was provided by Ludza Region municipality, EU funds and charity fund "Rietumu Banka". Restoration was carried out by the museum city center Hordaland (Norway).

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