Old Synagogue, Essen

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#19 of 75 in Things to do in Essen
The Old Synagogue is a cultural meeting center and memorial in the city of Essen in Germany. It is located in the center of the city on Edmund-Körner-Platz 1, close to the present city hall.The memorial center was founded in 1980 and is accommodated in the pre-war Jewish community's synagogue. The synagogue, together with the attached Rabbinerhaus, which today houses the Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute, was finished after a two-year construction period in 1913. It was originally consecrated as the Neue Synagoge . Today the building is one of the largest, best preserved and architecturally most impressive testimonies to Jewish culture in pre-war Germany.History of the buildingThe Essen synagogue was the cultural and social center of the Jewish community. In 1933 it claimed approximately 5,000 members. It served this function until the so-called "Reichspogromnacht" (also known as Kristallnacht) of 9 - 10 November 1938, when it was severely damaged on the inside by plundering, though the exterior remained nearly intact. Although Essen itself was very heavily bombed (see Bombing of Essen in World War II), the building itself managed to survive the Second World War without further damage.From 1945-1959 the former synagogue stood unused as ruin at the edge of the Essen city center. In 1959, the surviving Jewish community, after it had been using Rabbinerhaus as their center, built a new, much smaller synagogue, which is the current place of worship. In the same year, the city of Essen acquired the former synagogue and in the following years of 1960/1961 renovated it into a museum for industrial design, the "Haus Industrieform". For this purpose, all existing elements were removed or painted over. The ark for the torah was destroyed; the mosaics and ornaments were painted over. Following the spirit of the time, the inside was completely redesigned to a much more sober form to fit the purpose, no longer showing its former use as a synagogue. The main prayer hall was divided by a new floor and the ceiling was covered up.
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  • Having been born and lived in Essen for 25 years, I have visited the Alte Synagoge numerous times and participated in the Gedenbuckprojekt in school. I like the new exhibit (not sure how new it is tho...  more »
  • Synagogue in Essen is a big and beautiful on the outside, and from there is even prettier. The synagogue has been converted into a museum. When I entered the synagogue women at the entrance that says English language gave me the key to the closet to put in his backpack and sent me to the basement where there is mentioned a wardrobe and a coat rack for jackets. Use the closet to pay 1 EUR, and the entrance to the synagogue is not paid. It is possible to check on prizelje and a balcony. There are a large number of images of famous Jews. For a tour of 60 minutes is enough.
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  • The Church seen from the train when you go to the Zollverein coal mine ruins is the round tower from is memorable, I looked into after the Jewish Christian Church was. Would like to see in what's next.
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Google
  • You should have seen that even a Museum for everyone, and with luck the occasional concert, which you must have seen necessarily ever held there also times. I was already 2 or 3 times and it's always interesting.
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  • We were with our German course for culture can to learn. It's beautiful, that a building was burned in the war now everything is restored. Our tour guide was very nice and intelligent, many said about the history of the old synagogue and food
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  • Beautiful building
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  • An informative Museum of Jewish culture and religion. Every now and then there are also high-profile concerts
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  • Faith and peace of mind
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