The Kenasa House of Worship in Simferopol

Crimea is a surprising place for the fact that in it lived representatives of various ethnic groups, such as Greeks, Scythians, Sarmatians and Tatars. But only a few of them continue to live on the Karaite peninsula, as well as the particular followers of Judaism. The house of worship called “kenassa”, has different nuclei in large cities of Crimea and are known to have unique structures. But the most beautiful and surprising thing about the kenassa house of worship in Simferopol is the building that is located on Karaite Street, because it immediately attracts attention because of its unusual appearance, which has a mixture of Byzantine, Gothic and Moorish architectural styles.

In the kenassa house of worship currently located in the center of Simferopol, it is a very lively place, and was built at the end of the last century. It was erected next to the ancient kenassas that were under construction because they simply no longer adapted to the faithful. This is not surprising, after all, the community has grown and has expanded the number of Karaites in the city in a spectacular way. Kenassa was built thanks to funds donated by the believers themselves. This happened in 1889, when community representatives appealed to the governor of Tauris to allow them to build a new house of worship, as the old place was converted into overcrowding.

The construction began to be programmed and in such a way progressed. By 1896 the building was ready to accept the faithful. In addition to the direct function of a house of worship, Kenassa has other social functions of great importance. There was a choir set up by the Karaite School of Children.

After the October Revolution of 1917, the house of worship passed through a difficult time. Later, in 1930 closed its doors.

In 1942, the house of worship opened again. But after World War II, all houses of worship in Kenassa were detained, just like all cultural monuments in Russia, that house was occupied by one of the most popular Bolshevik newspapers “for the performance of counterrevolutionary activities.” For a long time the house of prayer in Simferopol was closed, until the 21st century, where the first cult of Karaite was held after so long. The place has an eclectic mix of styles from different eras that can be visited in the interior. Although the interior decoration was severely damaged during the Soviet era, what little remained, can be observed today.

Practical information to visit the Kenassa house of worship.

Address: Simferopol, str. Karaite, 6. How to get there: The Kenassa house of worship is 300 meters from the convent of the Holy Trinity in the center of the city, less than 10 minutes walking. The nearest stop is “Str. Caucasus”.

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