Tykocin Synagogue

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The Tykocin Synagogue is a historic synagogue building in Tykocin, Poland.[1] The synagogue, in mannerist-early Baroque style, was built in 1642.[2]


During the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1941, the synagogue was desecrated and then set up as a warehouse. After the end of the war, it remained in use as a warehouse for fertilizers. In 1965, a fire damaged the interiors.

The synagogue was thoroughly restored in the late 1970s. The historic wall paintings, most of which are decorative texts of Hebrew prayers, were restored. The elaborate, decorative ceiling was not reconstructed although some idea of the style can be gleaned from the design of the Torah Ark.[1]

A former Beit Medrash (study and prayer hall) located across the street has been restored and is in use as a city museum.[1]

Although no Jews now live in Tykocin and the town has no other tourist attractions,[citation needed] 40,000 tourists a year come to see the old synagogue, which towers over the remote village "in lonely and unexpected splendor". [3] The tourism has generated economic activity, including a cafe serving "Jewish-style" food and a bed-and-breakfast.[3]


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  1. ^ a b c Samuel Gruber; Phyllis Myers (November 1995). "Survey of Historic Jewish Monuments in Poland,". Report to the Presidents Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. Jewish Heritage Council World Monuments Fund. p. 44–5. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ Dariusz Stankiewicz. "Tykocin-synagoga" (in Polish). bialystok.jewish.org.pl. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  3. ^ a b Ruth Ellen Gruber (2002). Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe. University of California Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0520213630.

Coordinates: 53°12′22″N 22°46′01″E / 53.206°N 22.767°E / 53.206; 22.767