Exterior of Moscow Choral Synagogue.

Choral Synagogue

Meshchansky & Basmanny

Construction of a synagogue was banned inside Kitay Gorod, so Moscow’s oldest and most prominent synagogue was built just outside the city walls, not far from the Jewish settlement of Zaryadye. Construction started in 1881 but dragged on, due to roadblocks by the anti-Semitic tsarist government. It was finally completed in 1906 and was the only synagogue that continued to operate throughout the Soviet period, despite attempts to convert it into a workers’ club.

Apparently, Golda Meir shocked the authorities when she paid an unexpected visit here in 1948.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Meshchansky & Basmanny attractions

1. Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki

0.17 MILES

Hidden between big government blocks, this little gem of a church is an exquisite example of Russian baroque. Built in the 1630s, its onion domes and…

3. Chambers of the Romanov Boyars

0.31 MILES

This small but interesting museum is devoted to the lives of the Romanov family, who were mere boyars (nobles) before they became tsars. The house was…

5. Polytechnical Museum

0.35 MILES

Occupying the entire block of Novaya pl, this giant museum showcases the history of Russian science, technology and industry. Indeed, it has claimed to be…

6. Kitay Gorod

0.37 MILES

This 13th-century neighbourhood was the first in Moscow to grow up outside the Kremlin walls. While its name means 'China Town' in modern Russian, do not…

7. Old English Court

0.38 MILES

This reconstructed 16th-century house, white with wooden roofs, was the residence of England’s first emissaries to Russia (sent by Elizabeth I to Ivan the…

8. Park Zaryadye

0.39 MILES

Moscow's first new park in 50 years, Zaryadye was inaugurated in 2017 and occupies a prominent site along the Moscow River, wedged into historic Kitay…