Reopened after a 36-year closure and a five-year US$2.5 million restoration project, Edirne's Grand Synagogue is the sole reminder of when a community of more than 20,000 Sephardic Jews lived in the city. Built in 1906 to replace 13 smaller synagogues destroyed in the Great Fire of Edirne in 1903, the elegant building features a delicately hued arched roof and beautifully tiled floors.
When the synagogue was first constructed it could house up to 1200 worshippers. Its vibrant yellow exterior now shines amid the fading wooden houses and boxy apartment buildings of Edirne's former Jewish Quarter. Edirne's Jewish population now numbers in single figures, but the synagogue has been consecrated for religious purposes in addition to being considered a museum.