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Sofia Synagogue

Religious

The Sofia Synagogue stands as a significant landmark and cultural institution in the heart of the capital. Here are some key details about the synagogue:

1. Architectural Significance: Designed by Austrian architect Friedrich Grünanger, the Sofia Synagogue is the largest Sephardic synagogue in Europe. Grünanger modeled it after the synagogue in Vienna, which was unfortunately destroyed by the Nazis.

2. Location: Situated in the heart of Sofia, the synagogue is near vibrant and lively places such as Halite, the Women’s Market, and “Pirotska.”

3. Symbol of the Jewish Community: The synagogue holds great symbolic value for the Jewish community in Bulgaria.

4. Additional Functions: Besides being a place of worship, the synagogue also houses the offices of the Central Israeli Spiritual Council. On its second floor, there is a historical museum of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria called “Shalom.” This museum provides insights into Judaism, Jewish holidays, customs, and traditions.

5. Architectural Features:
– The synagogue stands on the site of the old Ahava and Hased synagogue.
– The complex includes a cozy, quiet courtyard with small buildings reminiscent of sunny Spain.
– The temple is large, accommodating up to 1300 pilgrims.
– The main prayer room features a magnificent polyulei weighing 2 tons, the largest in Bulgaria.
– The altar (“aron akodesha”) is set on a white marble pedestal and is surrounded by exquisite railings.
– The interior is richly decorated with multicolored Venetian mosaics, marble columns, ornamental carvings, and wall features.
– Elaborate paintings on the ceiling symbolize the heavens.

6. Educational Opportunities: The historical museum of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria, “Shalom,” on the second floor provides visitors with an opportunity to learn more about Judaism, Jewish history, and culture.

7. Gift Shop: Visitors can purchase souvenirs related to the synagogue and Jewish culture from the on-site gift shop.

The Sofia Synagogue not only serves as a place of worship but also contributes to preserving and sharing the rich heritage and history of the Jewish community in Bulgaria.

Prices:
Entrance: BGN 5.00.

Work time:
Sunday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:00

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