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Venerable House of Worship

Among the oldest synagogues in Istanbul, the Ahrida (or Okhrida, as it's sometimes known) was established by congregations hailing from Macedonia who came to what was then Constantinople in the 1400s. Its earliest architectural details reflect Ottoman Baroque design, though the building has been significantly refurbished and renovated. Among the defining features of the Ahrida Synagogue--situated in Balat along the Golden Horn--is its pulpit (aka tevah or bema), which is fashioned in the shape of a ship's prow--perhaps as an homage to Noah's Ark.

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