News2019.07.14 12:01

Archaeologists find columns of the Great Synagogue in Vilnius destroyed by Nazis

BNS 2019.07.14 12:01

Archaeologists have found two columns of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, Vilnius Municipality announced on Friday.

The columns are part of the bimah – a raised central platform for Torah readings. People will be able to see the new discovery on Wednesday.

"We have discovered one of the holiest parts of the building," Jon Seligman, leading the archeological search, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Archeologists found wall inscriptions that used to be near the bimah, containing references to the Old Testament, with one mentioning people and cites the Book of Genesis, and the other one containing lines from religious psalms.

The archeological research at the Great Synagogue of Vilnius will take place until July 19. The site will then open to visitors.

The Great Synagogue of Vilnius was one of the most important Jewish religious institutions in Eastern Europe, and was known as an important Jewish spiritual and educational center. Because of its existance, Vilnius was known to some as Jerusalem of the North.

The Great Synagogue of Vilnius was built in 1633 on the foundations of an older 16th-century synagogue. The Nazis burnt it during the Second World War, its remains were flattened, and a kindergarten was built on top of it in the 1950s.

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