Wooden synagogues

Wooden synagogues are unique objects of Jewish material heritage both in Lithuania and in whole Eastern Europe. At the moment we can count 17 extant wooden synagogues in the current territory of Lithuania. Two of these 17 synagogues has been reconstructed in recent years – in Pakruojis and Žiežmariai – and now they are open for public.

The wooden synagogue in Pakruojis, which now serves as a cultural center, is the oldest extant wooden synagogue in Lithuania dating back to 1801. The majority of other extant wooden synagogues are from the interwar period. During the Soviet occupation due to atheism politics of Communists` rule these synagogues has been misused as storage houses, sports halls or cultural centres of the towns. After Lithuania regained it`s independence in 1990, these synagogues gradually have been given back either to Jewish communities or to the local municipalities.