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Obj. ID: 10135
Jewish Architecture
  Great Synagogue in Sibiu, Romania

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 9.2019

Jews settled in Sibiu in the mid-19th century. There were 5 and 9 Jews in 1850 and 1857 respectively, and 168 Jews in 1869.[1] By the turn of the 20th century, however, the community was much larger and numbered 875 Jews in 1900 and 1,307 in 1910.[2] Such a large community needed a synagogue, which could reflect its size and prosperity.

The Great Synagogue in Sibiu was erected in 1899 according to the design of a Hungarian architect Ferenc Szalay. Although the synagogue is well preserved, is was not used for worship in the last 40 years. The small Jewish community today uses for prayer a room in the community building behind the synagogue.

The Great Synagogue is a large building with an impressive western façade facing one of the main streets of Sibiu. The façade features Neo-Romanesque decorations and is surmounted by the Tablets of the Law.

The magnificent prayer hall expresses the taste of the Orthodox current among Hungarian Jews: the bimah is situated in the center of the hall and the women’s gallery has a mehitzah – arches with curtains, which prevent men from seeing women. Four wooden columns are placed at the corners of the bimah, a feature popular in Hungarian synagogues. The eastern wall of the hall is richly decorated with murals.


[1] Ladislau Gyémánt, Evreii din Transilvania în epoca emanciparii (1790-1867) = The Jews of Transylvania in the Age of Emancipation (1790-1867) (Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedica, 2000), 237.

[2] Traian Rotariu, Maria Semeniuc, and Elemer Mezei, Recensământul din 1900. Transilvania (Bucharest: Editura Staff, 1999), 539; Traian Rotariu, Maria Semeniuc, and Elemer Mezei, Recensământul din 1910. Transilvania (Bucharest: Editura Staff, 1999), 521.

1 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Great Synagogue in Sibiu | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1898
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Romania | Transylvania | Sibiu județ | Sibiu
| 17 Constituţiei St.
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Aristide Streja and Lucian Schwarz, Sinagogi din România (Bucharest, 1996) = Synagogues of Romania ([Bucharest]: Hasefer Publishing House, 1997), p. 128, 190, ills. 108-109.

http://synagogues360.org/synagogues.php?ident=romania_004 http://jewish-heritage-europe.eu/galleries/romania-photo-galleries/sibiu-romania

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