Alanta Synagogue
Wooden Synagogues ~ Wooden Building - Synagogue

Alanta Synagogue

The documentary evidence is silent with regard to the date of the establishment of a Jewish community in Alanta. There is first mention of a Rabbi in 1878 and a formal Jewish community was established in 1921. The synagogue is one of only two extant wooden synagogues, the other being located in Žeižmariai built in the Romantic style (1831-1860).

It is of log construction and set on a rough-stone and concrete foundation. The exterior is weather-boarded with horizontal boards above the windowsills of the prayer hall and vertical below. It is of rectangular plan and has one and a half storeys.

The women’s section, accessed by stairs in the southwestern corner is situated on the first floor on the west side and has two long rectangular windows to the double-height, almost square plan prayer hall. The interior still evidences the original demarcation of space with the partition between the open double-height space of the prayer hall and the first floor women’s section still in place. None of the interior decoration or furnishings survive.

The fenestration is mixed with the eastern façade having four high semi-circular arched windows to the prayer hall. On the northern façade there are also semi-circular arched windows as well as rectangular windows on both the ground and first floors providing light to the small ground floor off the vestibule and the women’s section. In this, the difference between the ground and first floor space made distinct on the exterior by the fenestration, the synagogue evidences an important trait of the Romantic style.

The synagogue is currently under consideration for conservation by both the Jewish Community of Lithuania and a national Jewish charity.

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