This abandoned synagogue in a large Romanian city was built during the 1860's in an eclectic Moorish style.
The 19th century was a hard time for the Jewish communities in Romania. Emperor Franz Joseph was sympathetic to the way they were being treated and began granting freedom to them and by 1860 there were no more restrictions on the Jews. This spurred the plans of finally having a synagogue in the city by Rabbi Mauriciu. It was built from 1863-1865 by local developers to the plans designed by Austrian architect Carl Schumann.
Not only was it to be a place of worship but a testament to the strength of the growing Jewish community in Timisoara. The synagogue was built for both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews and incorporated traditional elements from both of these communities.
Before WWii the Jewish community in Timisoara reached around 13,000 residents. For obvious reasons many of them fled the country and emigrated to Israel.
With the reduced numbers, lack of funds and the anti-religious views of the communist rule the synagogue eventually closed in 1985 after serving the community for over 100 years.
Even though the synagogue was closed it was still owned by the Jewish community and in 2001 they allowed the Timisoara Philharmonic Society to use the building. They carried out essential repairs and some renovations so they were able to hold concerts here. The first one was held in 2005 and the following years over 100 various cultural events were held here.
I must give thanks to the members of the Jewish community who granted us access to this beautiful building. We were informed during our visit that renovation work was about to start shortly after our visit which is great news.
Thanks for looking feel free to follow me on the social media below and add your email to the box for notifications of future posts on here.