This Moorish temple was consecrated in 1893, during a lull in the pogroms that were decimating Jewish populations elsewhere in Russia. Even more remarkable than its construction was its survival throughout the next century, when atheist (and anti-Semitic) Soviet leaders razed cathedrals and other architectural monuments with impunity. The dome and corkscrew-like towers are covered with handmade carvings. Services are held in the red-brick Small Synagogue (Malaya Sinagoga). The Grand Synagogue (Bolshaya Sinagoga) is reserved for festivals, but through the doors you can see its yellow-and-white interior. It's located in a neighborhood behind the Mariinsky Theater called Kolomna, which housed many prominent Jewish families at the turn of the 20th century. Only the most highly educated and professionally trained Jews were allowed to live in St. Petersburg during that period; the rest were banished to the Pale of Settlement, a zone stretching from Poland to western Russia. If you visit, skullcaps are required for men, and are available at the shop at the entrance.