Karaim kenas in Evpatoria. What is it, photos, history, opening hours

Evpatoria - an ancient city on the west coast of the Crimean Peninsula. Monuments of many cultures and peoples appeared for the centuries-old history on its territory. From their mass there is a temple complex Karai "Kenasi, belonging to the small mysterious people of Karaimam.

Historical events in this area

Karais appeared on the Crimean Earth in the VIII century. Fastened to find accurate information about their origin. There is an assumption, they are the Turkic tribe who adopted Judaism. The name of the people translated from the Hebrew means "reading people." Caraems profess Judaism, but recognize the text of the oldest of the Holy Scripture of the Torah sacred sacred.

By the middle of the XVIII century, the small Karaization community that suffers from oppression from the Ottoman population of the peninsula, lived in the Chufut Calais Fortress, which was located on a high rock near Bakhchisaraya. Also a small number of "reading" people lived in the Old Town of Evpatoria.

After the joining of Crimea to the Russian Empire, Karaism was recognized as an independent religion. Most Crimean caraims moved to the city. Karai Kenasi in Evpatoria appeared at the beginning of the XIX century. Their construction was due to the need to expand the existing acting church, in which all members of the increased community could not accommodate.

The construction of the main buildings of the temple complex was completed in the 20th. XIX century Fully ensemble for the beginning of the 20th century. In the center of the Karaites, Alexander and Nikolay Romanov, Polish poet Adam Mitskevich, Poland, and representatives of various religious denominations of Crimea at different times.

XX century. Became the time of tests for the Karaites shrine. In 1927, the Bolsheviks destroyed the Chief Altar in the Cathedral Church in front of the parishioners. Kenasi were closed, and in their buildings posted the Atheism Museum. In the pre-war years in Kenasa, a medical school and a gym is located. The Germans occupied by the peninsula were allowed to resume services in Kenasa and open a charity dining room.

With the return of Soviet power, worship services again ceased, and a kindergarten was placed in the complex.

In 1963, the Karaite kenasy complex was recognized as an architectural monument. After 4 years, the expositions of the archaeological and local history museums were transferred to it, which carried out a large-scale internal redevelopment of the premises. During this reconstruction, many unique elements of the interior decoration were lost.

In 1990, the temples and other premises of the complex were transferred to the Karaite community. In 1994, thanks to donations from the inhabitants of Ukrainian Galich, the altar in the cathedral kenas was restored. Officially, the temple complex "Karaite kenasy" was opened in 2005. Currently, the religious and cultural center of the Crimean Karaites is located here.

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Architecture, appearance

The Karaite kenasas were designed and built by the well-known architects in Evpatoria, the brothers Sima and Samuil Bobovichi.

Several buildings go to the architectural ensemble:

  1. Big kenasa, on the drawing and decoration of which Sima Bobovich worked, were built from 1804 to 1807 It is a rectangular building with a hipped roof. A portico, which is a canopy supported by 30 columns, adjoins the northern and eastern facades. The space between the columns is an arched mosaic window. Two arched portals framed by stone carvings lead to the portico. Openwork carvings also cover the large oak doors leading to the portico.

    Karaite kenasas in Evpatoria, in the photo there is a large kenasa.

  2. Malaya Kenasa, built in 1815, was designed by Samuil Bobovich on the model of an ancient Karaite temple located in the fortress of Chufut-Kale. It also has the form of an elongated rectangle, covered with a hipped roof. The building hosts daily services and prayers on simple Saturdays.

In addition to the main buildings, the temple complex includes the following buildings:

  • school;
  • dining room;
  • Museum of Karaite culture;
  • outbuildings.

The decoration of the temple complex is the courtyards, each of which differs in appearance and theme.

In total, there are 6 open internal spaces on the territory of the kenas:

  1. which the vines twist. It starts from the front gate of the complex, designed in the form of a six-columned classical portico. The walls of the Vine Portico are made in the form of an arched colonnade, in the niches of which there are tablets telling about important events in the history of kenas, about patrons and builders of the temple complex. There are also fountains for washing feet. Karaites enter temples without shoes, so foot washing is an obligatory ritual for temple visitors.
  2. The marble courtyard is separated from the previous one by an elegant marble colonnade. The same architectural element limits the space from all sides. The columns and floor slabs are made of white marble. The center of the courtyard is a white marble monument in the form of a quadrangular column with a gilded double-headed eagle on top. It was erected in 1859 to commemorate Emperor Alexander I's visit to the kenas.
  3. The Prayer Waiting Yard completes the enfilade of interior spaces leading to the temples. Here are the entrances to both temples, and during the holidays, the courtyard is covered with carpets, which are placed dishes with fruits. The decoration of the space is a sundial, by which the parishioners determine the time. Their location is associated with the Karaite tradition, according to which parishioners cannot bring extra items to the kenas.
  4. The Ritual Court adjoins the Marble Courtyard , where a ram is slaughtered on the day of sorrow, dedicated to the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem.
  5. Opposite the Ritual Yard is the Memorial Yard (Lapidarium), where samples of Karaite writing are exhibited. Ancient texts are placed on large stone slabs. Gravestones from the Karaite cemetery destroyed in the Soviet years are also stored here.
  6. The Temple Garden is located behind a large kenasa. The decoration of the garden are 613 pomegranate bushes. This number is symbolic, since the same number of commandments are contained in the Torah.

All the buildings of the temple complex are made in a mixed manner, in which the features of the following architectural trends are visible:

  • Neo-Gothic;
  • Moorish style;
  • Byzantine style;
  • classicism.

The architectural composition is designed to set the parishioners for the upcoming prayer, saturating the souls of people with peace and tranquility.

Interior decoration

Karaim kenas in Evpatoria have a rich interior decoration. The walls of the temples are painted like gray marble with dark veins. Figured stucco elements stand out against this background. The main theme of these decorations is the flora. Particular attention is drawn to the decoration of the portico of the Cathedral kenas.

Its ceiling is decorated with colored stucco, made, like all temple decorations, in a floral style. Decorative elements are decorated in brown, green and yellow. The floors of the room are covered with black and white marble slabs. The space of the portico is illuminated through large arched windows, glazed with multi-colored glass. Both kenas have the same internal structure.

The following zones can be distinguished in the hall:

  • moshav — a place where old people and people in mourning pray;
  • a balcony for women and children, closed with a frequent lattice;
  • shulkhan - part of the temple for men and boys;
  • gekhal - the elevated part of the temple, from which worship is conducted.

The inner walls of the kenas are painted white. Against their background, decorative carved elements covered with gilding stand out. Gekhal in Malaya Kenas is made of oak panels decorated with carvings. Above the central gate is a large gilded crown.


Karaite kenases in Evpatoria keep many shrines and cultural values ​​of Karaites.

Among the main sights, the following objects stand out:

  1. Marble slabs installed in the niches of the Grape Yard. They contain records about the history of the Crimean Karaite community and the names of people who played a big role in its life. The very first stove was installed at the end of the 18th century. at the walls of a kenasa built in the 16th century. The last stone inscription was installed at the end of the 20th century, dedicating it to the Karaites who participated in the Great Patriotic War.
  2. On the western facade of Bolshaya Kenasa there is a memorial plaque with a fake Russian cannonball that fell on the territory of the complex during the storming of Evpatoria in 1855. Miraculously, the projectile did not cause harm buildings. In memory of this event, a sign with the corresponding inscription was installed.
  3. The gravestones of respected members of the Karaite community, whose activities were of great importance for the Karaite people and Evpatoria in general, enjoy special reverence for the Karaites.
  4. The main shrine of the Karaites - ancient scrolls with the text of the "Book of Laws" - is kept in the gekhal of the Small Kenasa. It is separated from the rest of the space by beautiful curtains, on which floral patterns are embroidered with golden threads.

Interesting facts and legends


  1. The ethnographic museum of the Karaite people is located in the school building. Its exposition was created from two private collections of B. Ya. Kokenai and S. I. Kusul, whose name was assigned to the museum opened in 1996.
  2. The Crimean community of Karaimov has close ties with representatives of this nation from Galich. Their ancestors took out from the peninsula in the XIII century. Prince Daniel Galitsky.
  3. Until 1917, 13,000 caraims lived in the Russian Empire. Currently, the number of this people around the world is 2000 people.
  4. More than 17,000 volumes of Karaite literature were collected in the National Bolshevik Revolution. The content of these books was very interested in Emperor Alexander I. Eyewitnesses of this visit noted that the explicit interest of the sovereign seriously worried about the members of his suite.
  5. Modern Worship Services are conducted in Hebrew. Therefore, all the karais wishing to participate in worships, since childhood, this is taught.

The mode of operation and timetable of worships

Kara, Kenasi in Evpatoria - a cultural and religious center, which contains the existing temples.

In connection with this, when planning a visit to this Crimean attraction, it is necessary to focus on the following schedule:

  • in the summer from Sunday to Friday from 8 to 20 hours;
  • in winter from Sunday to Friday from 10 to 17 hours;
  • All year round on Saturdays, the sightseeing visit begins from 13 o'clock.

Services in Malaya Kenas take place every Saturday at 10.00. The schedule of services on holidays should be clarified in the information service of the temple complex. You can visit the complex only in the excursion, which is formed at the beginning of each hour. The cost of the entrance ticket to the territory of the complex is 200 rubles.


Karai Kenassy are located in the city of Evpatoria in the region of the Old Town at Kamarantskaya Str., Property 68.

How to get by car, public transport

Before the temple complex of Karaimov, you can get both on your personal car and by public transport. Tourists moving on the car should be focused on the following coordinates: N 45 11.917 E 33 22.450.

Nearest public transport stops are:

  1. Hospital Street, through which buses of routes 4, 6, 9, 17.
  2. Children's Hospital, where buses stop 1, 2, 4.

, walking from the tourist information center Evpospory takes 10 minutes by passing through the old picturesque area of ​​the city.

In the vicinity there are such cafes and restaurants:

Name Address Kitchen Average bill, rub.
KamaranKamaran st., 68Karaites300-600
Yoskin catKrasnoarmeiskaya st., 27Jewish500-700
Modernst. Revolution, 34European





The Karaim kenas are the cultural and religious center of representatives of the ancient people living not only in Evpatoria, but also on the territory of Ukraine and Russia. The temple complex is one of the iconic sights of the resort town, which attracts many tourists.

Article design: Lozinsky Oleg

Video about Karaim kenases in Evpatoria

Evpatoria. Route "Little Jerusalem". Karaite kenas: