Page 10 - CochinBrochure

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edges, and a star–patterned vent at its gabled front (left).
The building also features various intricately hand–carved
and colorful interior ornament that is nicely accented
against otherwise plain surfaces. The decorative areas
above the entry door and on the bimah (the raised platform
where the service is led) are examples (below).
Centered within the Chennamangalam synagogue's
façade is a pair of solid wood doors opening into the
covered porch (14'–8" or 4.5 meters deep). A small
opening in the wall was provided for the delivery of
oil, and can still be seen (left). On each side of the
porch is a dressed stone column with carved teak
capital, and, to the front, are built–in benches (left).
Facing these seats is the entryway to the azura, a space
measuring 11' x 20'–6" or 3.3 m x 6.15 m. This
anteroom is reached via three stone steps and another
pair of solid wood doors that swing inward.
Engaged in the front right corner of the perimeter wall,
and independent of the synagogue proper, is a small
enclosure added only in the early 20
century. Here
can be found a spiral stair that connects to the room
directly above the covered porch. This well–lit space, surrounded by
windows on three sides features a wood floor and an exposed beam ceiling.
It once served as a Jewish school (below left). Beyond the classroom is a
smaller room. This area was reserved for women, who sat in a section apart
from the men according to religious tradition (below right).
The women's area leads to a third space (right), a narrow zone with its
bowed railing made up of turned wood gilded balusters and a second, very