The Building of the Jewish Female School in Minsk

Minsk

Architecture, Industrial buildings

The building of the Jewish female school is of great value for the historical and cultural heritage of Belarus in general and for the Jewish community in particular. The origin of many repatriates of the 80-90-s is connected in some way with the Belarusian land. Religious education in Judaism provides for separate teaching for boys and girls so in Minsk there were constructed male and female schools.

The building that hosted the Jewish female school in Minsk was constructed at the turn of the XIX century. The structure was made of brick and had a rectangular shape. The roof of the school was two-slope. The main facade has a symmetrical composition. The central part stands out for a mezzanine with an attic gable, in which there is a triple window and a balcony with an openwork fence made of cast iron. The facade is divided by two cornice belts and flat pilasters with ionic capitals. On the ground floor windows are rectangular, windows of the second floor, according to the architect’s design, are semicircular. The facade of the second floor is also characterized by two balconies symmetrically located. Thus, the building of the Jewish female school is an example of eclectic architectural style that cannot but attract the interest of tourists and historians.

Initially, the street in which the building was located was called Novo-Moskovskaya, today the building has the address:  Myasnikova St., 76.

The first owner of the building is a certain Lyahovich. In 1904, the building hosted the fifth parochial school, consisting of one class, and the seventh two-form female school with lessons of fancywork.

However, soon the local authorities decided to transfer the building to the Minsk Jewish voluntary society, by decision of which there was organized a female gymnasium. The educational institution existed until the October Revolution of 1917.

After the Great Patriotic War the building of the former Jewish female gymnasium was used as a dwelling house. The residents were members of the Institute of Foreign Languages. This situation was until 1990 when architects and designers were given the task to develop the project of the reconstruction of the building. However, despite the efforts of experts, the reconstruction of the building was suspended in order to improve the project so that the building could preserve its original appearance.

The reconstruction of the Jewish female gymnasium was finished in 1998. New time and new trends called for dictating new terms of reconstruction. As a result of this work the two-storey building was added to with another two floors. The sharp contrast between the buildup and the first two floors is visible with the naked eye. However, the architects managed to retain some of the elements of the original appearance of the facade: molding, mezzanines, and openwork balcony lattices. The building is mentioned in "the list of monuments of history and culture of Belarus" and is included in popular tourist itineraries.

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