Kenesas – the temples of Lithuanian Karaims. Virtual tour.

“Kenesas – the temples of the Lithuanian Karaims” opens the door – both literally and figuratively – to two fascinating architectural monuments not normally accessible to external visitors. Through pictures, panoramas, written texts and recorded comments, it conveys the history of these buildings, shedding light on their many peculiarities and architectural details. Conceived as a virtual tour and employing an architectural lens, “Kenesas – the temples of the Lithuanian Karaims” familiarizes the visitor with unique moments in the life of the Lithuanian Karaims, drawing attention to their rich and varied, but often under-appreciated cultural heritage.

There are two kenesas left in Lithuania, one in Trakai and another one in Vilnius. Both bear witness to the deep and eloquent cultural heritage of the Lithuanian Karaims, but they are also state-protected monuments of Lithuanian architecture as such. “Kenesas – the temples of the Lithuanian Karaims” will celebrate this heritage to mark the year 2022, declared “Year of the Lithuanian Karaims” by the Lithuanian parliament.

The project is carried out by The Cultural Association of the Lithuanian Karaims (curators Karina Firkavičiūtė and Evelina Juchnevičiūtė)

With the support of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture

Contractors – Inverse and Gidas360

Project partners: The religious community of the Lithuanian Karaims, with special support from community members, and from Gerd Schönwälder for English and German translations

Based on the publication: Kobeckaite, H. The temples of Lithuanian Karaims – kenesas. Vilnius, 2019. Translated from Lithuanian by Monika Matulevičiūtė