Istanbul, the magical city founded on two different worlds, the only city connecting two continents, is also a place of unimaginable diversity, both in culture and religion. There are so many different things to see and do in Istanbul that sometimes it becomes easy to forget how many this city has seen over the years, civilizations thriving and declining, powers rise and fall, cultures flourish and perish. Along with Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans and finally Turkish, the history of Istanbul and the whole Anatolia has been influenced by the Jewish legacy. Some of the most inspiring and intriguing tours in Istanbul revolve around the Jewish heritage the city possesses.
Jewish Heritage Tour in Istanbul
Istanbul Jewish Heritage Tour
Our tour guide will come to pick you up from your hotel in Istanbul about 09:00. He will give information about sights (mentioned in the highlights section) that you will visit today. Our first stop will be Neva Salom Synagogue
Our first stop will be Neva Salom Synagogue, you will be transferred by luxury vehicle to the site. After visiting the synagogue, you will go to the Camondo Family House. When we are done in the house, you will be transferred to the Ashkenazi Synagogue. And finally, Neva Salom Synagogue will be the last stop on the Jewish Heritage tour in Istanbul.
When the Istanbul tour ends, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
The Jewish Heritage tour starts early in the morning, with a visit to the Neva Salom Synagogue. Meaning “Valley of Peace“, this is the largest and most important synagogue in Istanbul, the most important religious ceremonies being held here. The synagogue is designed and decorated in a modern style, is one of the most important places for the 25,000 Jews that still live in Istanbul.
Camondo Family House
We continue our Istanbul Jewish tour through Galata quarter of the city, where the old Jewish community used to be located. Although most of these Jews have resettled in other places, their heritage is still strong here. Here, we will pass in front of the Camondo family house and stairs, an old and powerful banking family in the Ottoman period.
Our next visit in this delightful tour through some of the unknown parts of Istanbul takes us to the Italian Synagogue, built by the Italian Jewish community in the 19th century. Also known as Kal de Ios Frankos, the present structure was built after the original one was demolished in 1931. Closely, we will also pay a visit to the Schneider Temple, which means Tailors Synagogue, founded by a group of Jewish tailors in 1894. A few years ago, this synagogue was converted into an art gallery, dedicated to preserving the culture and history of the Jewish community through the lens of the fashion industry.
The Ashkenazi Synagogue
Our morning tour of the Jewish heritage of Istanbul ends with the visit of the Ashkenazi Synagogue, located near the Galata tower. Today, this is the only Ashkenazi synagogue still open for visits and prayer.
Jewish Heritage Tour
Although small, the Jewish community in today’s Turkey has a very long and insightful history. According to most evidence and historic traces, the Jewish settlement in Anatolia dates back to the 4th century BC. In the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, there are many traces of the Jewish settlement in the country. In one of them, it is known that Sultan Beyazit II ordered the governors of the provinces in the Ottoman Empire to accept the entry of any Jews in the Empire and even receive them with friendliness. Some of these Jews were welcomed after being expelled from Spain and Portugal. To this end, the Jewish heritage is extremely appealing and offering in Istanbul and a morning tour of this heritage is the perfect way to discover it.