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Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow

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Garnethill Synagogue is the historic 'cathedral synagogue' of Scotland. It is located in Garnethill, Glasgow.
The synagogue was built in the period of 1879-81. It was designed by John McLeod of Dumbarton, in conjunction with London-based architect Nathan Solomon Joseph of the United Synagogue. McLeod designed a number of churches and public buildings in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, including the Women’s Christian Association in Bath Street, Glasgow.
The building's exterior is Romanesque revival. The basilica-form, orientalist style interior features Byzantine revival detail. As the main building stands between east and west, the apse in the interior stands towards the east facing Garnet Street. This accords with customs within Jewish religion to face Jerusalem in the east whilst praying. Likewise, the Torah ark is positioned at the east end of the synagogue, which is faced whilst praying. Particularly notable is the splendid Torah Ark, designed by Nathan S. Joseph, it closely resembles the Ark he designed for London's New West End Synagogue. Both Arks are raised on platforms, approached by a series of circular, marble steps and project into the room in the form is a multi-domed and arched building.
The main entrance doorway is eight feet wide. Carved in the stone above in Hebrew, is Devarim (Deuteronomy) Chapter 32, verse 12. The English translation is "God alone let him, and there was no strange God with him". The numerical value of the Hebrew letters used in this verse adds up to the date of the foundation of the building.
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  • If you are in Glasgow on Shabbat, try to make it to the Garnet Hill Synagaogue (29 Hill Street close to the city center) for the Saturday morning service. It starts at 9:15am and the community is...  more »
  • It is a 'wee bit' of a climb as the street name itself suggests but the exercise is worth it. This Grade A Listed building is one of the UK's top ten historic synagogues. The exterior is...  more »
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