The Big Synagogue of Lutsk


Coordinates: 50.7354261, 25.3188466
Type of place: Architecture, Religious
The Big Synagogue of Lutsk The Big Synagogue of Lutsk The Big Synagogue of Lutsk

The Great (Big) Synagogue is located on the southern outskirts of the historical and cultural reserve "Old Lutsk" near to the bridge, which leads across the river Styr. Having built in 1628 in the Renaissance style, it has become the main shrine of Lutsky Jews. The synagogue is located on the remains of the previous stone building. Archaeologists have not yet established what kind of structure that building is, but it`s known that under the synagogue there is a lot of interesting things. In particular, in the dungeons of the synagogue is a mikveh, namely a ritual Jewish bath.

Defensive tower was attached to the synagogue, so in the XIX century some researchers called this object a "small castle".

When the building had been started in 1626, the monks of the neighboring Dominican monastery filed a complaint, fearing that the synagogue would be higher than the church of the Dominicans. The case ended in court with the victory of the Jewish community of Lutsk. Defense Tower was an obligatory condition of building of the synagogue, which was erected by King Sigismund III, who had gave his permission for the continued construction of the shrine. The King also ordered to put cannon on the tower and equip it in arsenal to the sake of giving Jews in danger to protect Lutsk together with other national citizens.

In the synagogue there were sections for women and men, meeting room and acted yeshiva - Jewish highest religious institution. Around the shrine there was a large Jewish quarter, where small synagogues and prayer houses functioned. In 1942, the German High Command of occupied Lutsk decided to lay the explosives in the synagogue. After the explosion, only the walls withstood. In the seventies, it was reconstructed as a sports hall. Today the sports club "Dynamo" operates here.

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