ul. Miodowa 27
The synagogue attached to the northern side of Kazimierz’s defensive wall (partially preserved, visible in the courtyard on Warszauera Street) is simple in form and modest in decor.
As it was combined with an almshouse, it was also known as the Synagogue of the Poor and built in the 1640s, mostly thanks to contributions paid to the Treasury of the Jewish Commune (the Cahal), which earned the Synagogue its Hebrew name: Kupa means the contribution (money) of the Cahal.
Its current appearance results from a reconstruction made in the 19th century, when the barrel vaulting was replaced by a flat wooden ceiling with a gallery for the women below. The later transformations left the structure bereft of features typical of baroque, and the damage dealt by the Nazis irretrievably destroyed its liturgical character. Only the stone altar – Aaron Kodesh – between pilasters has survived from the days of its construction.
The restoration conducted late in the 20th century uncovered among others the inspiring polychrome murals of the ceiling with views of the cities of the Holy Land, and the paintings with the signs of zodiac decorating the balustrade of the gallery.
Be sure to see:
- the rectangular polychrome mural presenting a table for showbread: the twelve loaves symbolising the twelve tribes of Israel
- paintings from 1925 preserved on the wooden ceiling: a panorama of Jerusalem, the Flood, a panorama of Hebron
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