Ruins in Sarandë
Sarandë which was the city of Onchesmos in the 4th or 5th century, was the site of Albania’s first synagogue.
These old ruins represent what was once a community center and old school used for bible studies. Exploring the complex you can find four floor mosaics here, which are normally covered with sand to protect them, though photos are provided on the walls. The mosaics show a seven-branched candelabrum, flanked by a citron plus a ram’s horn – all symbols associated with the Jewish holidays.
It is thought that it was built by the descendants of Jews who arrived on the southern shores of Albania around 70 CE. Onchesmos’ synagogue was supplanted by a church in the 6th century.It is thought that the synagogue underwent various periods of use, including its conversion into a church in its latter life.
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Visiting Sarandë Synagogue
8am-8pm Apr-Oct, to 5pm Nov-Mar