There are a number of places to visit in Simferopol where you can know its emblematic icons. Hiking in Simferopol is ideal for your vacation. For example, what to see in the Kenassa House of Worship in Simferopol here we explain.

Places to visit in Simferopol – Kenassa House of Worship
What to see at the Kenassa House of Worship in Simferopol
The Kenassa house of worship location

Temple Description

The Karaite kenases are a surprisingly beautiful and unusually harmonious temple complex, which for two centuries has been the center of the spiritual and religious life of the Crimean Karaites. Today it is one of the most original architectural places in Yevpatoriya.

The Karaites are the most mysterious and small Turkish people, whose representatives traditionally profess Karaism, a peculiar branch of Judaism. Its main center in Crimea for a long time was the “cave” city of Chufut-Kale near Bakhchisarai. However, after the peninsula became part of the Russian Empire at the end of the 18th century, most of the Crimean caraites moved to Eupatoria. At the same time, a large church was needed, where community representatives could meet to worship.

Then, in 1805, in the historic center of Yevpatoriya, the magnificent light building of Bolshoi, or Cathedral, kenasa, a house of prayer, destined to celebrate holiday services grew. Ten years later, next to him, on the site of the ancient 16th-century Karaite temple, Malaya Kenasa was built, where services were performed on normal days. Both buildings were built in the classic style, “spiced” with the color of Crimean architecture.

Three elegant courtyards lead to the Kena complex. The first – Grape – is decorated with dishes with inscriptions in Hebrew. There is also a marble fountain, which was used to wash your hands before prayer. The second, the marble patio, is decorated with slabs in which the names of those with whose help the kenasas were built are indicated, as well as marble planks with information about the most important events in the life of the Karaite community.

The oldest dates from 1790. The marble courtyard is also notable for its marble stele, established here in memory of the visit of the Kenas by Russian Emperor Alexander I in 1825. The most spacious and charming is the third courtyard, the waiting patio, framed by an elegant colonnade: here the Karaites waited for the beginning of the prayer and discussed the problems of the community.

In 1921, with the advent of Soviet power, the large and small Kenases were closed. Only twenty years later, during World War II, the small church was reopened, then a charity dining room was added, which can be seen today. In the 60s, the facilities of the temple complex were occupied by exhibitions of the local history museum, sports sections and even a kindergarten. Only in 1999, the Kenyan buildings were returned to the Karaites and restored.

Today, Karaite kenasas are not only a functioning temple, but also an interesting tourist site. On days off from services, excursions are made here. Not far from the temple complex, the original Karaman cafe of the Karaite national cuisine is currently operating and a museum of Karaite history and culture has been opened.

Places to visit in SimfeXropol – Kenassa House of Worship

Crimea is a surprising place because of the fact that in it; There were representatives of various ethnic groups, such as Greeks, Scythians, Sarmatians and Tartars. But only few of them still live on the Caraítas 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 for having unique structures. But the most beautiful and surprising thing about the Kenassa house of worship in Simferopol; it is the building that is located in Caraíta street, because it immediately attracts attention due to its unusual appearance; which has a mixture of Byzantine, Gothic and blackberry architectural styles.

What to see at the Kenassa House of Worship in Simferopol

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 old 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 the number of caraites in the city has expanded dramatically. 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, since the old place was turned into overcrowding.

Construction began to be programmed and in that way progressed. Already by 1896 the building was willing 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 established by the Children’s School of Caraíta.

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

In 1942, the house of worship opened again. But after World War II, all Kenassa houses of worship were arrested; Like all cultural monuments in Russia, that house was occupied by one of the most popular Bolshevik newspapers “for the realization of counterrevolutionary activities.” For a long time the house of prayer in Simferopol was closed until the 21st century; where the first cult of Caraíta was carried out after so long. The place has an eclectic mix of styles from different eras that can be visited inside. Although the internal decoration was badly damaged during the Soviet era, the little that remained, can be observed today.

The Kenassa house of worship location

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Address: Simferopol, str. Karaite, 6.

How to get there: The Kenassa house of worship is 300 meters from the Santa Trinidad convent in the city center, less than 10 minutes away on foot. The closest stop is “Caucasus Str.”