Jewish Heritage Tour

Description

The history of Jewish presence in Turkey dates back to some thousands of years, but it got more significant during the Ottoman Period. When the inquisition was expelling Jews who lived in Italy, Portugal and Spain, Sultan Beyazid II made a formal invitation to the Jews living in these countries. İt’s from that moment on that the Jewish Heritage Istanbul has started do be built. 

In this tour you will visit some of the most important synagogues in Istanbul ( Ashkenazi Ahrida, Neve Shalom, Etz-Ahayım ) and also the neighborhoods where Jewish communities lived (Galata).

Inclusions - Exclusions

Includes:
Pick up from the hotel
Entrance Fees
Guidance in English (other languages such as Spanish, German, French are optional)
Drop off to your hotel at the end of the tour.
Full day air transportation: conditioned minibus (9:00am to 5:00pm) and driver

And excludes:
Lunch
Parking Tickets
Personal expenses and tips

Themes

History & Religion

Features

* Book at least two weeks before

Places Visited

Ashkenazi synagogue
Ahrida synagogue
Galata Tower
Museum Of 500 Years - The Quincentennial Foundation Museum
Neve Shalom synagogue
Etz-Ahayım Synagogue

Departure Dates

Everyday (book at least two weeks in advance)

Detailed Itinerary

Ashkenazi synagogue
This is the last Ashkenazi synagogue in İstanbul still open for prayers and visit. Located near the Galata Tower, this mosque was built in the last years of the 19th century and founded by Austrian Jews. Currently, the Ashkenazi Jews population represents only 4% of the total Jewish population in Turkey.

Ahrida synagogue
This is the oldest synagogue in İstanbul and also said to be one of the most beautiful ones in Turkey. Besides its fascinating architecture, be sure to observe its furnishings, including the bema (pulpit) shaped like the prow of a ship, said by some to symbolize Noah's Ark or the ships which brought Jews from European countries in the 15th century.

Galata Tower
Originally named the Tower of Christ, this 70 meters high tower was the highest point in the city’s walls of the Genoese colony called Galata and has been dominating the city’s center since then. Most of the walls are long gone, but the great tower still remains.

Lunch will be served in Kosher Restaurant

Museum Of 500 Years - The Quincentennial Foundation Museum
The Mission of the museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit knowledge about the cultural heritage of the Turkish Jews. İt counts with a big collection of historical valuable goods that show how Jews lived in İstanbul and the heritage they left behind.

Neve Shalom synagogue
This Synagogue, located midway between the Galata Tower and the Sishane Square is the central and largest Sephardic synagogue in Istanbul. Due to this fact, is also the traditional center of the city's 25,000 Jewish community.

Designed and decorated in a modern style, it was inaugurated on March 25, 1951, and is used for major functions of the community such as bar mitvahs, weddings and funerals.

Etz-Ahayım Synagogue
The Etz A Hayim synagogue is located on the main street of Ortakoy. Its name, meaning “the Tree of Life”, was used for several synagogues during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

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