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Old Synagogue, Essen
(4.2/5 based on 55 reviews on the web)
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 (formerly Steeler Straße 29), 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 (House of the Rabbi), 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 (New Synagogue). 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the alte Synagoge with our children (11,12 and 15 years old) and were positively taken on the unsusal approach to the everyday life of jewish people. The holidays, customs and traditions ar...  more »
  • exciting, the largest North of the Alps to learn existing synagogue. to recommend. helps to rethink in the current time the cultures.
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  • The synagogue itself looks old from the outside, but probably dating back to the beginning of the last century and is somewhat bare on the inside. Beautiful exhibition of paintings is contemporary Jewish prominent but, to the german Jewish life and Jewish parties. Every now and then this too is made "tangible", such as the treadmill with kosher food, the digital wall with Jewish dances or Judeo gears Gregorian. You can explore all free itself. Even an audio guide can be obtained against a deposit. Only ugly: the police patrol in front of the House, the door control and the ubiquitous video cameras. But probably it's more otherwise to deter extremists in our time.
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Google
  • I like it as a museum. They have a very small collection but it was enough to give more or less some idea about Jewish tradition and history. It is free of charge to visit. If you are in town i would say it is a must to see!
  • Open also for tourist
  • From the outside as well as inside the old synagogue is a feast for the eyes. The exhibition is very interesting.
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  • Past, present and future in one place
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  • He lacked interest.
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