• Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Vkontakte
  • Livejournal
  • RSS
  • Subscribe to Ukraine Online Travel Guide by Email

Karaite Kenesa in Evpatoria

Among the peoples who inhabit the Crimea today, are the Karaites. There are no greater than 2000 Karaites in the world.

The history of this people is intricate and full of persecutions, prosperity and almost complete decline. Fortunately, the remaining members of the Karaites managed to preserve the surviving monuments of history. Among them is Karaite Kenesa in Evpatoria. The Karaites began to settle in this city in XVI - XVII centuries. Kenesa has always been their spiritual center – a house of worship. The head of the Karaites is Gahan. The Karaites profess Karaite Judaism or Karaism having basically the Old Testament.

Karaite kenesa in Evpatoria is a temple complex, which occupies 0.25 hectares and consists of the Greater and Lesser kenesa, a religious school (midrash), charitable dining-room, household and courtyards - Grape, Marble, Expectation of prayer, Ritual, Memorial.

There are two versions of kenesa erection in Evpatoria. Some researchers consider the date of commencement of services -1804-1805 years. According to the other - kenesa dates back to 1807. However that may be, the official history of Evpatoria states that in 1807 two brothers Babakaevich (one of them was an architect, and the second gave money) built a big kenesa. Even eight years later, in 1815, a little kenesa was erected near the big one. Evpatoria Karaite community owed brothers not only the building of houses of worship. Solomon Babakaevich achieved providing a number of benefits for the Karaites.

Today's kenesa entry is a triumphal arch with six columns placed on pedestals, built in 1900. The columns are divided into two groups, combined together with metal arch gate. Between them are ornamented round windows. Earlier, in 1835, Big and Small kenesa were joined by yards. Another yard that led from the gate to the house of prayer was laid with stone slabs in the same year, vines and fruit trees were planted between those slabs. In 1907, to the right hand of the main entrance was arranged a starting seminary. Later there was Spiritual Board. And today there is a museum. The courtyards reflect the richness of the Karaites culture, the richness of its architecture. Coming here, do not forget that kenesa is a sacred place to the Karaites to hold services today.

The architectural complex existed as a church until 1926. Having gone through numerous restructuring and restoration work, Great Cathedral Kenesa in Evpatoria was opened for service in September 2005.


Hide map
2012-02-09  Comments  rating:


blog comments powered by Disqus

Read other Articles

  1. Cufut Qale Cave CityCufut Qale Cave City
  2. Chorna Mogyla (Black Grave) in ChernigivChorna Mogyla (Black Grave) in Chernigiv
  3. Shevchenko Park in RivneShevchenko Park in Rivne
  4. Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy FortressBelgorod-Dnestrovskiy Fortress

The most popular

  1. 7 Places To See In Ukraine Before They VanishSeven Wonders
  2. 7 myths about ChernobylChernobyl Myths
  3. Pysanky. Ukrainian Easter eggsUkrainian Pysanky
  4. The largest rivers of UkraineThe largest rivers