HARA SGHIRA ER RIADH, TUNISIA - JANUARY 3 2017: Ghriba synagogue (Djerba Synagogue). Interior. Hara Seghira (Er-Riadh) jewish village near Houmt Souk town. Tunisia. Northern Africa; Shutterstock ID 694868872; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Tunisia Destination Page image update

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El Ghriba


The most important synagogue on Djerba and the oldest in Tunisia, this 19th-century building is in a white compound 1km south of the medina. Pass through the external security check (bring your passport) and enter the synagogue to see its lovely interior, which features columns painted in blue, multicoloured tiles, stained glass and wooden furniture. The inner sanctuary, with its elevated pulpit, is said to contain one of the oldest Torahs in the world.

According to legend, there has been a synagogue on this site for two millennia, dating back to either the High Priests' escape following the destruction of Solomon's Temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II in 586 BC or the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. A pilgrimage takes place every year on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, in between Pesach and Shavuot.

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