Bevis Marks Synagogue, London

London's oldest surviving synagogue was built in 1699-1701. It was built in a lane because Jews were not allowed to erect the synagogue in a public street.


The building has not changed since then. The one-storey red brick structure is modest from the outside. The interior is elegant and has smooth plaster walls decorated with rosettes from some of which hang chandeliers. On the west side, stands the wooden bimah. On the east side, the two-storey wooden ark structure surmounted by the Tablets of the Law is located. Both elements are influenced by the ark and bimah of the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam (1671-1675). Women's galleries run along three sides of the hall.


Queen Anne herself is said to have donated a wooden beam for the synagogue. The synagogue serves a Sephardi Congregation.


Interior of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, London, C. 1817
Beit Hatfutsot, the Visual Documentation Center