Yu Aw Synagogue
|Yu Aw Synagogue|
|Direction of façade||West|
The Yu Aw Synagogue is located in the Momanda neighbourhood of the old city of Herat, Afghanistan. The area was once known as Mahalla-yi Musahiya, or the "Neighbourhood of the Jews". It is the only synagogue in Herat that has been preserved with most of its original characteristics, although it is currently in a state of disrepair. Researchers date the Synagogue to 1393.
The remains of the building on the east, north and south sides of the courtyard are now used as family housing. A room in the basement of the structure on the west side of the courtyard is used for housing by one of the employees of the Herat Department of Historic Monuments Preservation. The remainder of the building is in a precarious condition.
A preliminary survey carried out by Annette Ittig in 1998 notes that:
|“||The main prayer hall still has much of its painted stucco decoration, which is primarily floral, with a strong Persianate influence, e.g. the flowering "trees of life" and the butas, or paisley motifs, set to either side of the Torah Ark on the western wall.... The ark is elevated and is reached by stairs. The room itself is octagonal in shape.... On the south side of prayer hall is an arcade with a partition with small decorative openings that served as the women's gallery. The low open bimah, which is placed below the central dome, remains intact.... There are three Hebrew inscriptions on the north wall above the stairway....||”|
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