Soldiers' prayer rooms
A considerable number of Jewish soldiers of the St. Petersburg garrison remained loyal to the faith of their fathers. In the late 1830s an edict was issued according to which the Jewish soldiers were allowed to perform their religious rites when free from duty. However, in order to practice their religion, they needed special facilities.
Jewish soldiers wanted to establish prayer rooms right in the barracks. For this purpose, several families pooled their money, rented an apartment near the barracks and used a vacant room in the family barracks for prayers. At first, the military authorities did not object, but later ordered the soldiers to remove the prayer rooms from the barracks. New prayer places were set up in nearby private apartments.
A map of the Jewish prayer rooms in St. Petersburg, 1830-1860