The Etz Hayyim Synagogue complex comprises the synagogue proper that is situated between two courtyards: the southern Ronald Lauder Garden containing four tombs, access to the Mikveh (ritual bath) and one of the former women’s galleries (today the Jennifer Stein Memorial Library), and to the north the pebble paved courtyard, dedicated to the Friends of Etz Hayyim. This latter courtyard is bordered on its northern side by a building housing until the late 19th century the Talmud Torah School of Hania.

Being a noteworthy historical building, a tour of Etz Hayyim Synagogue provides a glimpse into its complex history. The interior layout of the synagogue not only reflects the influence of its Romaniote past, but also its origin as a Catholic church built during the Venetian period.

Photos 1, 2: © Anastasios Skikos

Tiled inscription in pediment above entrance to Etz Hayyim Synagogue, design by Nikos Stavroulakis

Detail of lamp on Bima

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