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Synagogue; Satanov, Ukraine

The monumental Synago- gue in Satanov is  one   of the oldest standing today in Eastern Europe. It was build in 16th century, possibly  in 1514 or in 1532 , and  was also  used  as  a  fortress .

The synagogue was  closed down in the 1930s, and then used  as  a  warehouse .


Inside the synagogue still  remains amazingly beautiful Baroque  Aron - Kodesh , decorated  with   sculpted lions  and  golden  griffins.

Sataniv today

There  are  few  versions about how the town got  its name.  One of them saying that  it was called  the town  of Satan by Turks or Tartars who were  not able to  seize its  powerful  fortresses .

In the 18th century Satanov was   Podolia's   leading community.   In 1756  its dayyanim (religious judges) held a trial of the Frankists.

In  1765  there were 1,369 Jews paying the poll tax in Satanov .

Satanov  has lost  its town status , and  today  it  is  a small  village.  There  is no Jews  in Satanov anymore.

Gateway to Satanov

The Gateway of Satanov was  built  in  the middle of 15th  century , and recon - structed  in 1724 .

It is one of just a few Town gates  that  are  standing    in  Ukraine  till  our  days .

River Zbruch

The Russian - Austro-Hungarian border used  to go through the  river

Zbruch   that  is  flowing through  the  town .

Here  in the 1920s  Russian Jews  illegally  fled  Soviet Union by walking on the ice to  the   Polish  side  of  the border .

Satanov, old Jewish Cemetary

There  are  about  3000 carved  gravestones  in the  Jewish  Cemetery. The  earliest  gravestone  is from 1554, and the latest burial was made in the  late  1950s .




Usually picture of a Bear on a headstone shows that the name of the deceased was Dov - Ber.

The Bears with grapes on  this  headstone are also used for description  of   a  biblical   story. 

They symbolize the spies  returning  to  Israelite camp at the desert from the land  of  Canaan .

Tipical Jewish House

The typical Jewish house

This house might be one of your great - grand parents.  Who knows?!

Satanov, little Egypt

Once on this street lived a  purely  Jewish population. This area was informally known as "little Egypt" .

preserved some  interesting examples of typical small-town Jewish architecture.

Restoration of Satanov Synagogue, December 2012

Khmelnitsky  Regional Jewish Community
took control over the Synago- gue building  in Spring of 2012.  At  the end of that year restoration work has begun  there .

The celebration of 500 years  of  the Satanov Synagogue  history  is planned for September  2014The main part of the  restoration  work      is  scheduled  to  be completed to that event.

As of today,
the bulk of the rescue and recovery operations are done. In particular, the building is covered with a new roof.

Photos by Dmytro Panair, Hugo Macgregor
Copyright © 2021 Rufina Tetiyevsky