New Synagogue

New Synagogue in Berlin
Source:         Photographer: Helga Ewert

Those interested in Jewish culture should by all means visit the New Synagogue in Oranienburger Strasse. This also houses the Judaicum – a major Jewish cultural centre.

The New synagogue is still considered the largest and most splendid synagogue in Germany. It was built according to the plans of the architect Eduard Knoblauch in the years 1859-1866 and was meant to demonstrate the style and living standard of the Jews in the city. The basis of the building is a steel structure – which for its time demonstrated a feat of engineering. At the core is the great nave, in which the egalitarian worship is held. Including its galleries, the New Synagogue can hold almost 3000 people.

Crowning the magnificent building is the elaborately decorated golden dome. Despite the New Synagogue being a building of Jewish origin, it was heavily damaged by numerous bomb attacks during World War II. After the war, attempts were made to restore or re-build the synagogue part by part. However it was soon realised that this was no longer possible. In the end the nave was demolished in 1958.

It was not until 1988 that a decision was made to completely rebuild the New Synagogue. Laying the foundation stones for the new building took place on the 9th November 1988. There are precisely 50 years that lie between this date and the ‘Night of Broken Glass’ – the start of Jewish persecution in the German Reich.

bigger map view

The reconstruction of the New Synagogue took almost seven years. It was only in 1995 that the magnificent new building could be opened. However, the synagogue was not restored according to its historical model, rather was significantly modified due to the events that occurred in relation to the Jews in World War II.

Where you could once find the actual synagogue prayer room there is now a large open area. Eight large marble pillars have been erected here in remembrance of the atrocities that once took place.

Entry to the Synagogue is not fully permitted for visitors; however, the previously mentioned open-area can be visited at any time via a guided tour. A visit to this magnificent place of worship is worthwhile in any case.


Adress: Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin - Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Str. 28-30, 10117 Berlin

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