Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo
Two legends exist about the location of the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Some believe that it was the place where baby Moses was found safe in the midst of bulrushes. The other legend says that it was here that the prophet Jeremiah regrouped the Jewish people after they were expelled from Jerusalem. In 1896, a collection of 100,000 documents relating to the history of the Jewish people in Egypt was found in the Geniza or store room. Most of the documents have been relocated in various museums in Europe and Britain.
The architecture of the Ben Ezra Synagogue has a basilica style. There are two floors, a lower floor for male worshippers and an upper floor for women. Steel bars divide the main hall into three parts. The central hall has the Bima or desk for Torah reading. Twelve columns support the roof and 6 marble steps lead to the wooden altar. The interiors are decorated in Turkish style floral and geometric patterns. Today, the synagogue has very few worshippers but has become a thriving tourist attraction in Cairo.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cairo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Ben Ezra Synagogue on Map
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