Obj. ID: 1603
Jewish Architecture Kupa Synagogue in Kraków – Interior before the restoration
To the main object: Kupa Synagogue in Kraków, Poland
The ceiling, walls, and women’s gallery of the Kupa Synagogue are richly decorated with murals painted in the 1920s. Intricate geometrical frames on the flat ceiling enclose images of holy places in Israel as well as the musical instruments of Psalm 150:3-6. The north side of the ceiling presents a panorama of Jerusalem and a representation of the Flood; the south side depicts Tiberias and the Oak of Mamre; Jaffa Gate and the Western Wall appear on the east side; panoramic views of Hebron and Haifa on the west side complete the arrangement. The three paintings on the western wall of the prayer hall depict Noah's Ark, the hanging of musical instruments on trees beside the rivers of Babylon (Psalm 137:1-3), and a panoramic view of Jerusalem. It should be noted that images of human figures are extremely rare in synagogue decoration. The prayer hall also includes a partially-preserved architectural decoration in the form of tall Corinthian columns with a complicated cornice. The parapet of the women’s gallery features the signs of the zodiac within ovular frames. The artist was clearly quite professional, but is unfortunately unidentified.
Four fragments of other paintings lying underneath the present layer of murals and dating from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are observable. These older works are ornamental in nature, with patterns of leaves and fruit surrounding textual material. A painted stucco Torah ark from the late 17th or early 18th century is also preserved in the synagogue.
For the ceiling see:
For the Torah ark see:
For the parapet of the women's gallery (Zodiac signs) see:
For the western wall of the prayer hall see:
For the older fragments of wall decoration see: