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Great Synagog of Saint Petersburg

The construction of the Great Synagog aimed to replace the many private oratories that had been created in the imperial capital in the second half of the 19th century. Alexander II asked architects Liev Bakhman and Ivan Shaponikov to review the project the had submitted to him. The dimensions of the building had been judged to be too large. The Emperor finally gave his agreement in 1883 and the work started thanks to private funds. It lasted for ten years and theGreat Synagog was consecrated in 1893. In Byzantine style, it is the second largest in Europe. It was closed down in for while during the soviet era and it was damaged in the bombings of Leningrad. However a hospital was created in the building and was working the whole time. Considered as a major touristic site, the synagog was renovated at the time of the 1980 Olympic Games. Between 2000 and 2005, the building was partially rebuilt thanks to the 5 million dollars given by banker Edmond Safra and his wife. From then its official name became ”Edmond Safra Great Synagog”.
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