The oldest wooden synagogue (1766) in Central and Orientale Europe is the one of Piatra-Neamt. It is named Baal Shem Tov, according to the name of the founder of Hassidism (1700-1760). The restoration works were carried out in 2007-2009 and revealed important details regarding the history and architecture of the monument. The geotechnical surveys revealed the existence of the first foundation and showed that the original plan of the edifice was ship-shaped, on the east-west axis. The scraping of the roofing showed how the beams were assembled in the shape of «dove tails» and under the cover layer the shingle of the hipped roof became visible, which was changed when the “Pulish” (brick vestibule) was added. The existence of a polygonal dome, above the “Bima”, concluded with a keystone, completes the resemblance of the synagogue with the 18th century wooden churches of Neamţ. The conclusion is that this building was built by the same artisans which built the modest wooden churches. Especially that a contemporary census recorded the existence of only 20 families of Jews in Piatra-Neamţ and its surroundings, so, a very limited number for building a synagogue.
Keywords: Piatra-Neamţ, wooden synagogue, wooden church, Jews, Baal Şem Tov, Hassidism, restoration.
Cuvinte-cheie: Piatra-Neamţ, sinagogă de lemn, biserică de lemn, evrei, Baal Şem Tov, hasidism, restaurare.