FROM THE CYCLE EXCURSIONS IN KIEV
ARTICLE: "KARAITE KENESA IN KIEV"
Karaite kenesa in Kiev is a unique religious building, located at Fifth Ave, 7. Surprisingly, this masterpiece of Moorish architectural art is bad - known - this despite the fact that kenassa is only several dozen meters from the Golden Gate and stands there for more than a century– it was built in 1902 by Vladislav Gorodetsky commissioned by Solomon Cohen and blessed by Gasana Kiev Joseph Sultansky. Despite its religious purpose, the building is made in a luxurious Moorish style.
Though the Karaite community to begin construction hardly numbered 200 persons, Cohen singled unprecedented amount (at that time) 35 thousand rubles for the purchase of land for establishment, the proceeds of which go to support the community. Even paralyzed, Cohen still independently managed business and after his death in 1900 his brother Moses continued construction of the money left in the will of Cohen. As a resultfrom 1896 to 1902 on kenesa 200 thousand rubleswere spent.
Kenesa was consecrated in January 27 including personal presence Gaham Tauride and Odessa Samuel Pampulova and officials of the city. Then the building was decorated with graceful dome with stucco work of authorship Elio Sala,using cement – particularly expensive at the time. In his basement, if look at the temple from its backyard, still are traces of infinite swastika. The dome itself, unfortunately, has not survivedto the present asit wasremoved during the Soviet era.
After the Soviets cameto power, kenesa was closed and Karaite community - dissolved. In 1926 the building was officially deprived of a cult status and transmitted to the use of educational institutions. However, during the Second World there was Roman Catholic serviceinside, but the true status and purpose facilities were inconsistent. In the postwar years in kenesa’sroom acted first puppet theater, and later - movie re-run.
Now kenesa, along with the Actor house is occupied by the Union of Theatreof Ukraine. No requests for the return kenesa were nominated - for now at least a hundred Karaites Kiev.
The style, which made the building uncharacteristic for Ukrainian architecture makes it look awesome. It’seasier to believe that the building is somewhere among ensembles of Spanish Moorish Alhambra. Kenesa is one of those places in Kiev, you can not avoid visiting because they are the only of its kind. And the famous Moorish proverb "That’sworld’sworse punishment – being blind in Alhambra" is well suited to Kiev kenesa.
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