Launceston Synagogue

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Egyptian Revival style Launceston Synagogue on St John Street

The Launceston Synagogue is a heritage-listed building located in St. John's Street, Launceston, Tasmania.

In the 1840s the sizeable Launceston Hebrew Congregation borrowed £500 to purchase the land to build the Synagogue[1]The Synagogue was designed by Richard Peter Lambeth [2] and was built in 1844 by Tasmanian builders Barton and Bennell.

The building is Australia's second-oldest synagogue[3] (after the Hobart Synagogue), the oldest place of non-Christian worship in Launceston, and a rare example of an Egyptian revival architecture in Australia.[4][5] The building features a distinctly trapezoidal facade and main window bearing the Star of David with a single balcony on the inside accessed via the rear of the building.

The synagogue closed as a house of worship in 1871, re-opening again in the 1930s for a period. In 1923, Sim Crawcour and Harry Joseph were instrumental in its renovation.[1]

In 1989, the building became listed with National Trust of Australia who have been taking care of renovations and maintenance.


In 1847 it was arranged that all Jews in Hobart and Launceston prisons should have the privilege of attending synagogue and refraining from work on the Sabbath. Pass holders were permitted to be counted in a minyan, but they could not have honors bestowed on them.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Launceston history tour map" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ National Trust of Australia (Tas) Launceston Synagogue Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Diana Muir Appelbaum, "Jewish Identity and Egyptian Revival Architecture", Journal of Jewish Identities, 2012 (5(2) p. 7.
  5. ^ "Thomas U. Walter's Crown Street Synagogue, 1848-49", by Rachel Wischnitzer, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Dec., 1954), pp. 29-31
  6. ^ "Tasmania". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°26′22.13″S 147°8′25″E / 41.4394806°S 147.14028°E / -41.4394806; 147.14028