13. JEWISH SYNAGOGUE

Built in 1894 the Jewish Synagogue is Bulgaria’s second largest synagogue. There was a large Jewish community in Vidin, whose representatives were the main initiators and donors of the prayer temple, but many Jewish families from all over Bulgaria joined them. The Vidin Synagogue was built to resemble the synagogue in Budapest. It was erected within only a year, and its decoration exceeded the one in the Sofia. Architecturally, the building is completely symmetrical, with a regular shape forming a 3-nave, single-apse basilica with a narthex, galleries, and 4 towers. The main facade is astonishing with a protruding frontal body and 2 side towers. A semicircular arch on a pair of pillars on tall bases, vaults the main entrance. A large round window with an iron grid in the shape of the Star of David has used to decorate the center of the arch. The 4 side towers have double arched windows used to have stained glass and a fine decorative grid. The internal dimensions of the prayer hall are 21x10 m. The interior impresses with the variety and usage of ancient Jewish and Classical architectural forms. A rib vault roofs the two galleries. Above the narthex, a stairs lead to a platform for a choir. There are 2 marble plates with bronze relief inscriptions in Hebrew on the wall. A thin arcade on pillars made out of cast iron, bronzed, and decorated with colored ornaments separates the 3 naves. The floor is with mosaic and wood. The altar is on a podium in the apse. It imitates the architecture of an ancient Jewish temple – with a central part, arches, columns, and 2 towers. The altar is paint in blue, red, and bronze. Above the altar there is depicted the symbol of the Sun. A ribbed barrel vault covers the central nave of the prayer hall, while the galleries have rib vaults, colored in blue with bronze Stars of David. The 2 crystal chandeliers have an immense presence. The whole interior creates a light and capacious sensation. The activities of the Jewish Synagogue ceased in 1950 because of a mass displacement of the Jewish families from the city. Today the Synagogue is a Monument of National importance with Architectural and Art value.


© Copyright 2019 Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria. All Rights Reserved
CultPlatForm_21: Creative Spaces of the 21st Century. Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF and IPA).