As it was understood from a decree dated 1693, this synagogue existed before the Conquest of Istanbul. The Ahrida (Ohrida, Uhr, Toh Balat) Synagogue takes its name from the town of Ohrid in Macedonia, where its founders came from.
Ahrida Synagogue on Kürkçü Çeşme Street is the largest and most magnificent of the Balat synagogues. The building, which was devastated during the Great Istanbul Fire on July 24, 1660, was renovated with the Will dated May 10, 1694, and it underwent general or partial renovations in 1709, 1823, 1840, 1881, 1893, 1926 and 1955. It is claimed that today’s building is formed by the merging of two existing synagogues (possibly one Romaniote and the other Sephardic) by destroying the wall between them.
According to the inscription in the courtyard, the Synagogue was restored in 1992 by the suggestions and initiatives of Naim Güleryüz and the work of Master Architect Hüsrev Tayla under the coordination of Nedim Yahya by the 500th Year Foundation under the leadership of Jak Kamhi.
The Synagogue’s Tevah (Torah reading stand) resembles the bow of a ship. According to one belief, this form is reminiscent of Noah’s Ark, and according to another claim, it symbolizes the Ottoman galleys that brought the Sephardians from Spain to the Ottoman Empire.
Sabetay Sevi, who declared himself the Messiah in the 17th century, allegedly preached on a Saturday, Ahrida Synagogue II. It accommodated a cavalry detachment during the mobilization years of World War II.
One of the meaningful memories of the history of the synagogue is the prayer ceremony, held on May 18, 1877, for the victory of the Ottoman army, who participated in the Ottoman-Russian war, with the participation of Grand Vizier İbrahim Edhem Pasha and state leaders.
Ahrida Synagogue, with the decision of 16 September 1987 published in the Official Gazette dated 9 June 1989, 128 Serial No. Included with.