The historic synagogue in Turkey’s northwestern city of Edirne hosted a concert featuring pieces from Jewish composers on Oct. 18.
Turkey’s Jewish community leader Silviyo Ovedya addressed the audience before the concert, saying they had come to Edirne in honor of the European Day of Jewish Culture, which is usually marked in Istanbul.
Ahead of the concert performed by vocalist Halil Erseven, Edirne Foundations General Directorate head Osman Güneren remarked on the recently renovated synagogue’s “divine atmosphere.”
Along with the concert, a photography exhibition has also opened in the synagogue to mark the occasion.
The Edirne Synagogue was reopened on March 26 in a ceremony that saw the participation of government officials as well as the community members after a restoration period.
As Europe’s second-largest synagogue, the Great Synagogue in Edirne was built in 1907 after a large fire in the city in 1905 destroyed 13 separate synagogues. The building was constructed using Vienna’s Leopoldstadter Tempel, which was later destroyed by the Nazis, as a model, but it was abandoned in 1983 due to a lack of worshippers.
The synagogue was later transferred to the local Thrace University to be used as a museum after its restoration, but after criticism from the Jewish community in Turkey it was handed back to the General Directorate for Foundations.