Qasrin

Qasrin (or Kasrin or Kisrin) is one of more than two dozen Jewish villages which have been identified in the central Golan area of northwestern Israel which prospered from the Byzantine to the Early Islamic Period. Qasrin flourished from the fourth through the eighth centuries C.E., and contains a large synagogue and two reconstructed stone houses. Qasrin was ruined by an earthquate in 746 C.E. and was subsequently abandoned.

The synagogue is oriented toward Jerusalem since worshipers would face the torah shrine on the south wall of the synagogue. The major entrance to the synagogue is located on the north side (below left). The Qasrin synagogue is the best preserved synagogue in the Golan. The main entrance (below right) consists of a carved lintel with a wreath. The synagogue was constructed of ashlar blocks (stone blocks cut with six flat sides) and put together without mortar.

Synagogue from north side
Synagogue main entrance
The synagogue was constructed with a central nave and two aisles (below left). The roof was supported by two rows of four columns. The reconstructed model of the synagogue (below right) indicates that only the nave was two-storied, and that there was no separate upper level reserved for women, a later development in medieval synagogues.
Synagogue nave
Synagogue model
The two-level steps lining both sides of the synagogue served as seating (below left), while the Torah shrine was placed on the stone platform constructed near the southern wall of the synagogue, facing Jerusalem (below right).
Synagogue seating
Synagogue torah shrine
   
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