Today’s door (or perhaps it is technically a gate but let’s not split hairs right now) is part of a historic temple in Barbados. According to Wikipedia, the temple dates back to the 1600s.
“The Nidḥe Israel Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת נדחי ישראל Bet Knesset Nide Yisrael, lit. Synagogue of the Scattered of Israel) is the only synagoguein Bridgetown, Barbados. It also holds the distinction of being one of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere and a Barbados National Trustproperty. In 2011, the synagogue and excavated mikveh were designated as UNESCO protected properties within the World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison area.”
This grand gate, which was an entrance to the temple cemetery, is right around the corner from last’s week green alley door on Synagogue Lane. Upon entering the temple property, the first thing I saw were graves and trees. Their age alone screamed with history and stories.
As we walked around, it was like being transported in time. Ancient tomb stones lay in broken pieces, their lettering barely readable after hundreds of years of wear. Though the synagogue was built in 1652, it was rebuilt in the mid 1800s after being destroy by a hurricane in 1831. Sadly, over the years the temple was reported to fall into disrepair until it was sold in 1929. Wikipedia even reports that the cemetery became a dumping ground at some point, which I found particularly saddening.
However, now it stands proud, complete with a museum, as a tourist site and treasure to Barbados. It seems that it will be protected now for generations of people to admire respectfully.
If you are interested in learning more about the temple, I found this little informative video on You Tube that explains the history and relevance of some of the temple’s features, and it shows more of the temple than I photographed.
If it doesn’t play in this post for some reason, here is the link to copy: https://youtu.be/8FpYIBAnubQ?t=8m22s.