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Founded by Jews of Austrian origin in 1900, this is the last remaining synagogue from a total of three built by Ashkenazim (the population of Ashkenazi Jews accounts for four percent of the total Jewish population of Turkey).
Located very close to the Galata Tower, the synagogue has a facade which is especially imposing, with three Oriental arches and octagonal rosette windows. The interior has marble floors, a dome decorated with Stars of David, and the ark of dark wood is a blend of eastern European and Arabesque styles.
After visiting the synagogue, take a walk down the nearby Camondo Steps, designed in the Neo-Baroque and early Art Nouveau styles by Abraham Salomon Camondo circa 1870–1880. The Camondos were a wealthy Jewish family who amassed their fortune in Turkey. Patricia Daunt tells of the family’s Paris home, which has been turned into a museum, in ‘Treasures of a Lost Dynasty’ in Cornucopia 26.
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