Jewish Heritage Europe

Czech Republic: Exhibit on destroyed Olomouc synagogue



If you’re in the Czech Republic, you have two more weeks to see the  exhibit on the grandiose synagogue in Olomouc, which was burned down by the local Fascists in March 1939 after the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.

The exhibit — at the  Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum — opened in October during the city’s Jewish Culture Days festival to mark the 120th anniversary of the synagogue’s inauguration, and it closes on January 7, 2018.

The synagogue, dedicated in 1897, was an imposing building constructed in Moorish-Byzantine style, with a large dome, two slim front turrets, striped exterior decoration, and elaborate interior. It was designed by the noted Czech-born Viennese architect Jakob Gartner, who also designed the several other synagogues.

The web site of today’s Olomouc Jewish community describes the synagogue:

The main eye-catching elements outside included the high dome, topped with a pinnacle, and two further spires, one on each corner of the frontage. The brick facade in two colours was punctuated with windows featuring rosettes and other delicately detailed patterns derived from typically romantic oriental motifs. The gable end above the entrance from Maria Theresa Square was topped by stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments, while the rear elevation overlooked Lafayette Street (Lafayettova).

Describing the exhibition, the museum web site states:

On the 120th anniversary of its consecration, we will present the history of the Olomouc Synagogue, which was burned down by the Fascists in 1939. We will concentrate on its structure from the perspectives of architecture and the history of art, and set it in the wider context of the works of its designer, the architect Jacob Gartner. We will also discuss the importance of the Jewish community in the city’s history.


Click to see web page for the exhibit

Click here to see a description of the synagogue on the Jewish community web site





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