Jewish Heritage Europe

Posted on:

Great dome of the Sofia synagogue. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber


The two slim turrets of the Central Synagogue in Sofia have undergone restoration work, which was completed around New Year's, according to the Sofia Globe.

According to the Globe:

Both the northern and southern tower of the building urgently needed to be refurbished. The construction work started in September of 2017.

The work was carried out under the oversight of Shalom, the umbrella Jewish organization. The Globe said donors to the project included the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Charles and Susan Knapp, and Asher Ostrin. No further details were provided.

The synagogue had undergone a lengthy and fitful general restoration process that was completed in 2009 in time for gala centenary celebrations.

Designed by Austrian architect Friedrich Grünanger (1856-1929) the Central Synagogue is the largest synagogue in the Balkans and one of the largest in Europe. Tsar Ferdinand himself cut a ribbon to formally inaugurate the building in September 1909. The eclectic design, with a huge flattened dome and slim turrets, combines Byzantine and Moorish styles. The dome has a diameter of 19 meters and a height of 23 meters; its ceiling is painted to portray the heavens – a sea of stars on a blue background. The sanctuary is further decorated with multicolored mosaics, marble columns, ornamental carvings and other types of wall ornamentation. A brass chandelier weighing more than 2,200 kilograms, a large candelabra and other decorations were imported from Vienna.





Leave a Comment