Jewish Heritage Europe

Braşov, Romania — the orthodox shul (crosspost)

Orthodox synagogue, Braşov. Photo © Julie Dawson

Julie Dawson has been investigating the archives in Braşov, Romania as part of her a survey of Jewish material in archives in Romania — and she has turned up fascinating material, including Lipot Baumhorn’s blueprints of the large and elaborate Neolog synagogue that still stands in the town.

She has now posted about the orthodox shul — which dates from the early 1920s. It was damaged in an earthquake and now remains in perilous condition apparently slated for demolition.

Plan for orthodox synagogue, Braşov. Photo © Julie Dawson

Here is a crosspost from her blog (and her pictures of plans for this synagogue):

In the early 20th century, Braşov Jewish Orthodox community was experiencing growing pains. A few years after building a mikvah near the military hospital, they submitted plans to build a larger one on their property in Burggasse 64 (today Str. Castelului, see photos); the same year they also constructed a new kosher slaughterhouse in the courtyard at the same address. Soon they began petitioning the city for additional property so as to build a proper synagogue, explaining that their current space used for the house of prayer was too small. The town hall collection contains a number of petitions from the community suggesting various plots of land – the property behind their current address leading up to and past the old city wall, an old gas works property, and so forth. These requests were denied by the city on various grounds. Finally, in 1920 the community submitted a construction permit request to tear down walls within a building on the same property in the Burggasse so as to create a larger space for worship. These plans (see photos) do not correspond exactly to the synagogue located there today, but there are similarities. Unfortunately I came across no further construction plans or permit applications in the town hall collection for the Orthodox synagogue. Beginning in the early 1920s the indexing system previously used became much less organized and thorough – perhaps the plans exist but are not properly indexed and therefore are essentially lost.

Sometime during the mid-late 1920s though, the community succeeded in enlarging their house of prayer and making it into a synagogue (it is still referred to as a house of prayer in government documents from 1924, whereas the Neologue shul is called a synagogue), apparently settling on a vertical expansion on the same property in the Burggasse. Today the building is condemned and may not be entered, having suffered structural damage during an earthquake so it is impossible to say for certain how the interior was arranged. From the outside it appears to have been built above the mikvah. The main entrance is reached via a stairway which is in turn accessed through a residential building on the property.

Read full post and see more pictures



3 comments on “Braşov, Romania — the orthodox shul (crosspost)

  1. I have seen a picture if logos for different Israeli cities at the Shul in Braşov.
    One of the cities was Arad, Israel and I would like to further the contact with someone in the Shul.
    Perhaps you have a contact e-mail address or telephone number of someone there.

    Thank you,
    Shmuel Kaplan
    Arad, Israel

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