Heritage & Heritage Sites

 

GENERAL

 

The JewishCom.be (Consistoire) web site has links to 17 active synagogues used by Jewish communities in Belgium (with photographs). These are in: Antwerp, Arlon, Brussels and area, Charleroi, Ghent, Knokke, LiegeOstend

 

The International Jewish Cemetery Project page for Belgium

Has information on Jewish cemeteries in seven towns and cities in Belgium: Antwerp, Arlon, Brussels, Charleroi, Liege, Ostend, Putte (a town divided between Belgium and Netherlands)

National Tourism Board’s Jewish history and itinerary

Detailed information particularly for Brussels

Virtual Jewish History Tour, Belgium

 

INDIVIDUAL SITES

 

You can find information on most Jewish heritage sites in Belgium through the general links listed above. Here below, as on other country pages, we provide information on individual Jewish heritage sites in Belgium that have their own web sites or other web resources. 

 

BRUSSELS

Great Synagogue of Brussels

Since 2008 known as the Great Synagogue of Europe, a neo-Romanesque building completed in 1878, designed by the Christian architect Desire DeKeyser, with a tripartite facade marked by a rose window, two low towers and a peaked roof topped by the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

32 Rue de la Regence
Brussels

Jewish Cemetery

Photo documentation (2006) of the Dieweg Jewish cemetery by Jono David

National Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of Belgium (Memorial National aux Martyrs Juifs de Belgique; Nationale Gedenkteken der Joodse Martelaren van Belgie).

Corner of Rue Emile Carpentier and Rue de Goujons
1070 Brussels

 

 

ANTWERP

As the main center of Orthodox Jewish life, Antwerp boasts about 30 active synagogues, prayer houses and shtibls, many of them serving the various communities within the Hasidic population. Several synagogues are more imposing buildings.

History of Antwerp Jewish Community (from Beit Hatfusot)

Main Dutch (Hollandse) Synagogue (congregation Shomre Hadas)  on Bouwmeesterstraat, a  Moorish-style building, designed by Joseph Hertogs, inaugurated Sept. 7, 1893. It has a striped facade marked by a grand central arch and two side turrets topped by domes. The Shomre Hadas synagogue on Van den Nestlei was designed by Joseph DeLange and built in 1929, then renovated in the 1950s to repair the heavy damage suffered in World War II.

Synagogues360 page on the Hollandse Synagogue

Portuguese synagogue, on Hovenierstraat, a Romanesque-Byzantine-eclectic building inaugurated in 1913 and designed by the young Jewish architect Joseph DeLange.

Synagogues360 page on the Portuguese synagogue

Machsike Hadass synagogue, on Oostenstraat, designed for a Russian-Polish rite community in 1911-13 by the Jewish architect Jules Hofman. Its simple flat facade is marked by arched windows, and it has two turrets but its exterior resembles an office building rather than a house of worship.

 

ARLON

The oldest synagogue and Jewish cemetery in Belgium are located in Arlon, in the southern part of the country near the borders with Germany, France and Luxembourg. The Synagogue was listed as a national historic monument in 2005.

Designed by the architect Albert Jamot, the synagogue was built between 1863 and 1865 and inaugurated on Sept. 22, 1865. It is a smallish rectangular brick building with Moorish, neo-Romanesque and Byzantine-style touches. Its  façade is marked by a large central arch surrounded a rose window above the arched portal. The two front edges have striped brickwork and support slim turrets resembling miniature minarets.

The Jewish cemetery in Arlon, inaugurated in 1856, is the only Jewish cemetery in the southern part of the country and is only one of two Jewish cemeteries in Belgium to conserve gravestones dating to before 1900. (The other is the Jewish cemetery at Dieweg at Uccle.) The tombstone inscriptions are in Hebrew and/or French. It underwent restoration in 2005.