Crete Sights

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Etz Hayyim Synagogue

Etz Hayyim Synagogue Review

This ancient landmarke is tucked away in what was once the Jewish ghetto, a warren of narrow lanes known as Evraki, just off the harbor south of the Firka. The building was formerly the Venetian church of St. Catherine, became a synagogue under the Ottomans in the 16th century, and was sorely neglected and near collapse by the end of the 20th century. Venetian Gothic arches, a mikveh (ritual bath), tombs of three rabbis, and other architectural features have been beautifully restored and are a stirring memorial to Crete's once sizable Jewish population, obliterated during World War II; many Cretan jews drowned when a British torpedo sunk the ship carrying them toward Auschwitz in 1944.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Parodos Kondylaki, Hania, Crete, 73100
  • Phone: 28210/86286
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: May–mid-Oct., weekdays 10–6; mid-Oct.–Apr., weekdays 9–5
  • Website:
  • Location: Hania
Updated: 05-17-2011

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