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“historic site, museum quality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jewish Synagogue

Jewish Synagogue
Synagogue Lane, Bridgetown, Barbados
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Ranked #8 of 32 Attractions in Bridgetown
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Oldest Jewish synagogue in the Western hemisphere, dating back to 1654.
westchester, ny
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“historic site, museum quality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

historically accurate and artistic portrayal of the bajan community, very moving setting, quiet and atmospheric, non-commercial

Visited December 2013
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79 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Worth the wee detour from Bridgetown centre”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

A very attractive building inside, if not outside. Found the history of the Jewish people in Barbados very interesting, as was a walk in the adjoining cemetery,
noting the Polish birthplaces of many of the Jews buried there.
The nearby Niche Israel Museum, unlike the synagogue, has a charge, but we found both to be well worth a visit.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potter Bar, Herts (near London), England
Top Contributor
286 reviews 286 reviews
125 attraction reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
“An old Jewish Synagogue”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

This Synagogue can be found in the center of Bridgetown in Synagogue Lane.

I was informed that this dates back to the 1650's making it one of the 2 oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere.

If you are interested in archaeological and cultural history it is well worth visiting. The structure itself has been carefully preserved and also restored for use as a house of praying which is what it was originally built for.

It is open daily with the exception of Fridays and has a museum in the grounds.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“important for historical significance”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

This is a wonderful marker for those interested in Jewish History. There once was a thriving Jewish Population here in Barbados who first escaped from Portugal during the Inquisition, then fled from Brazil when the inquisition reached there. Meanwhile, they had become quite proficient in running Sugar plantations. The ones who settled here were plantation managers and merchants on nearby Swan Street. Many Jews made it to Dutch Territory in New Amsterdam or back to Holland, but this synagogue was built by those who stayed in Barbados. They built a Sephardic style synagoge in the 17th century. In 1831, it was destroyed by a tremendous Hurricane but rebuild in 1833 on the same site. The graveyard has many stones still there from the 1700's. By the 1900's, realize, about 300 years of continuous use, there was only one Jew left and he participated in the deconsecration of the synagogue and it's torah was removed. So now in the 21st century, a man named Mr Altman is trying his best to restore the synagogue and recall some of the artifacts that actually existed. The Mikvah has been discovered and unearthed and can be visited. Many gravestones have been cleaned up and new ones are appearing. On the day I visited , the Mikvah and the museum were closed, but I was able to visit inside and see the altar and bimah. So while this attraction is not as hands on or as sexy as swimming with turtles, I still recommend that history buffs take a look, and sign the guest book and read the plaques on the wall. It is an historical attraction at least as interesting to history buffs as the "George Washington House" and he only stayed there for less than two months while the Synagogue was in use for about 300 years.

Visited May 2014
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Darrington
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Very special place and sensitive restoration”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Just a special, very moving place.
The graveyard is slowly being restored but it's going to be a long job.
So thankful that it was in effect saved by the Barbados govt at the last minute.

Visited April 2014
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