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A website of the main Jewish cemetery in St Petersburg gives a photo about 80.000 tombs with a search system all in Russian. The site permits an order for voluntary paid services on care of tombs. Photo can be seen free of charge but knowledge of Russian is required to use the site. [January 2010]

"New desecration of tombstones at St.Petersburg cemetery" says "Some 50 tombstones have been desecrated at the St Petersburg Jewish cemetery, the second such act in ten days in the Russian city, sources within the local Jewish community said." [2009]

The Lavabo House at the Jewish Cemetery in St. Petersburg [2004]

"Vandals defile 50 graves at Jewish cemetery in St. Petersburg" [2004]

The Jewish cemetery is named for its location next to the Christian Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Cemetery. After the Russian Revolution, the Christian cemetery was renamed "in memory of the victims of January 9 (Bloody Sunday)". Only the Jewish section retains the original name. For more information about the Jews of St. Petersburg, see Beizer's The Jews of St. Petersburg. Philadelphia: 1989. Source: "St. Petersburg's Cemetery Pre-Burial House, an Example of Early Modernism, in Dire Need of Repair." Jewish Heritage Report volume II, 3-4, 1998-1999. [March 2002]

"An important 20th -century architectural monument of the St. Petersburg Jewish Community, the pre-burial house at the Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Jewish Cemetery, is in serious disrepair, according to Tulane University Professor William Brumfield, an authority on Russian architecture and author of History of Russian Architecture and Lost Russia: Photographing the Ruins of Russian Architecture.Designed by prominent modernist architect Yaacov Gevirts (1879-1942) and built between 1908-1910, the structure originally served as a prayer-house. This site is a variation of the 1893 (Grand Choral) synagogue: "Its elevation is simpler, more geometric, and modern. A low-pitched, smooth, green dome, slightly pointed at the top, rests on a square, blind-arched and slit-windowed tan drum that rises above a massive facade. Gray stone blocks flank lighter stonework around the four-centered entrance arch. Receding wings have blind arcades along the sides. Low walls enclose an arcaded forecourt, where Hebrew inscriptions run above pointed arches that are supported by Islamic capitals help on slender, short columns. The front gateway has massive rectilinear and stepped gateposts, reinforcing the impression of weighty geometric form" (Synagogues of Europe, p. 220). Gevirts designed St. Petersburg apartment buildings and many specifically Jewish structures, including a Jewish almshouse, and the synagogue in Krakhov, Ukraine.

Location of Jewish sites in St. Petersburg: The once magnificent cemetery is now inactive due to lack of space. One can only be buried there if a family member is buried so that ashes can be included in a current grave. Condition: Falling to pieces. Source: Ruth Baker (703)-548-0979. [date?]

Jewish Bulletin of Northern California has a report that "60 gravestones were destroyed in the Jewish Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery the night of Jan. 16" [1996].

Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2010 10:40
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