ALTE SYNAGOGE (Old Synagogue)

Old Synagogue | © Peter Wieler/EMG

In July 2010, the Alte Synagoge opened as Germany’s first "Haus jüdischer Kultur" (house of Jewish culture). The old synagogue building houses five exhibition spaces, which offer insight into history and everyday life of Jewish communities from all around the world. This marks a new chapter in the chequered past of the building.

The Old Synagoguewas opened in 1913 and, similar to other Jewish places of worship, wasset ablaze in the so called "Reichspogromnacht" Night of Broken Glass in 1938. The interior suffered extensive damage. In 1959, the city of Essen acquired the former synagogue and renovation began. Over the course of the restoration many mosaics were painted over, the Torah shrine was destroyed and the dome which covered the main prayer hall, where once 1,400 people worshipped, was removed.

Up until 1979 the sombre building was used for industrial design exhibits. A fire destroyed a part of the exhibition and the building was once again renovated. The original room structure was reconstructed but without the original details. From 1988 to 2008 the synagogue served as a memorial, political-historical documentation forum and cultural meeting place.

address and contact

ALTE SYNAGOGE (Old Synagogue)

Edmund-Körner-Platz 1
45127 Essen
+49 201 88 45218
+49 201 88 45225