Yanbol Synagogue (Balat)
Originally built by Romaniote Jews during the Byzantine time, Yanbol synagogue was later used by the Jewish community that immigrated to Istanbul from the town of Yanbol in Bulgaria. The main building is made of wood. The ceiling of the main prayer hall is decorated with landscape oil paintings. This ceiling was reconstructed in 1895 after the big fire in Balat. The synagogue has been restored many times throughout its history. It is now open only on major holidays and for some Shabbat services. The Ehal is reached by three small steps, and decorated with mother of pearl. The Women’s section, the Azara, is placed on top of wooden columns and is located on the north side of the synagogue. During the restoration of the Ahrida synagogue, the services were held in the Yanbol synagogue.
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):