Old Synagogue

The largest and most famous of the pre-World War Two synagogues in Bardejov is the Old Synagogue. Begun in 1829 and completed in 1836, it is the oldest building of the Jewish Suburbia. Reflecting architectural features of the Baroque and Neo-Classical styles, it is one of two remaining nine-bay synagogues in Slovakia (along with the synagogue in Stupava). For this reason, it is considered one of the most valuable examples of synagogue architecture in the country.

The Old Synagogue has been in great disrepair, but in the spring of 2010, preservation work began on the structure of the building. This work is under the supervision of the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic. The synagogue was emptied of all the merchandise stored there by a tenant who operates a plumbing and hardware business in the Suburbia. Extensive repair work to the brickwork surrounding the windows has been carried out by highly trained restorers. In early 2011, a complete set of weather-proof windows was installed in the entire structure. The interior decorative painting on the ceilings and walls has been scientifically assessed. A damaged inscription of the Hebrew Psalm 113:3, “From the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof the Lord’s name is to be praised,” remains on the eastern interior wall. The missing staircase and portico that collapsed in the 1990s continues to be an issue for the restoration of the building.

During the Memorial Gathering in May 2012, an overflow crowd attended a ceremony in the Old Synagogue.