Neological Synagogue

Neologická synagógaJ. M. Hurbana Street No. 11

The old Synagogue was built in 1860 by the Jewish community in Žilina. The number of Jewish families started to grow in the second half of the 19th century. Until then a rule was in force that only two Jewish families could live in the town. This measure attempted to protect local merchants from the arrival of Jewish merchants. The first Jews already had their meeting–house with a Jewish school in Žilina, but in 1860 the Jewish community erected a synagogue. The synagogue was a traditional 19th century building with a saddle roof and oriental architectural elements. Gradually, with the increase of the Jewish population living in Žilina, the old synagogue was deemed to be insufficient.

Significant monument of functionalism
The new Synagogue was built in 1930 – 1931 on the grounds of the old synagogue to the design of a significant Berlin architect Peter Behrens. The Functionalistic architecture with Moorish elements (a dome originally decorated with the Jewish star, a castellated wall) places the Synagogue amongst the most unique architectural monuments in Slovakia. The very high costs relating to the construction of this lavish synagogue – repayments were to be via a mortgage system - meant that a permanent seat, at that time, cost an unbelievable 10 000 crowns. After World War II, the Jewish community was unable to repay the mortgage, and therefore donated the building to the leaders of the National Committee in Žilina for cultural purposes. In 1962, the assembly hall of the University of Transport (now the University of Žilina) was set up in the building. In the restitution in 1990, the Jewish community once again became the proprieter of the building.

Since 2012 the reconstruction of the Neologic Synagogue interior has been carried out by the Citizens Community Truc shpérique. The main purpose was to eliminate non-original interventions and consequently change the building´s use into a cultural institution. The end of reconstruction was in 2017. You can find detailed information about the history of Synagogue and about the reconstruction on the webpage www.novasynagoga.sk/en.

Source: TIO Žilina (researched from academic literature).

It can be visited
■ interior is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. and during the events, take a look on www.novasynagoga.sk.
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.

Position of the monument on the map: B4
Number of the monument on the map: 7

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