Jewish Heritage Europe

Synagogues, History & Architecture

NOTE: Further publications on specific countries, regions or sites can be found in the separate Country sections of this web site.

Click here to see an extended Bibliography on synagogues and related topics, on the online exhibit web site THE LIFE OF THE SYNAGOGUE

Click here to see a list of online articles about individual synagogues on the Bet Hatfutsot web site

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Alofsin, Anthony. When Buildings Speak: Architecture As Language in the Habsburg Empire and Its Aftermath, 1867-1933. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008

Assis, Yom-Tov and Neil Folberg. And I Shall Dwell Among Them: Historic Synagogues of the World

Altaras, Thea. Synagogen in Hessen – Was geschah seit 1945? Königstein im Taunus: Karl Robert Langewiesche Nachfolger Hans Köster Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1988

Bartov, Omer. Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine. Princeton, 2007

Baumhorn Lipót, Építész: 1860-1932. Exhibition Catalogue. Budapest: Architart Kiadó, 1999

Beizer, Michael. Our Legacy: The CIS Synagogues, Past and Present. Jerusalem: Gesharim, 2002.

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza; Kravtsov, Sergey, Levin Vladimir; Mickūnaitė, Giedrė and Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė. Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue. Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2010

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza & Harmen H. Thies (eds). Jewish Architecture in Europe. Petersburg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2010

Wide-ranging papers from the first Congress on Jewish Architecture in Europe, held in Braunschweig, Germany and at the Carolo-Wilhelmina Technical University in 2007.

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza & Harmen H. Thies (eds). Synagogenarchitektur in Deutschland: Dokumentation zur Ausstellung. Petersburg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2008

Ben-Dov, Meir. The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture. Urim, 2009

Bergman, Eleonora, and Jan Jagielski. Zachowane Synagogi i domy modltwy w Polsce: Katalog. Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute, 1996

Borsky, Maros. Synagogue Architecture in Slovakia: A Memorial Landscape of a Lost Community. Bratislava, 2007

Encyclopedic book on all aspects of synagogue history and architecture in Slovakia. Fully illustrated with photographs and drawings.

Darmstadt University of Technology, et al, (eds). Synagogues in Germany: A Virtual Reconstruction. Basel: Birkhauser, 2004

Elaborate CAD-reconstructions, developed by Darmstadt Technical University, provide a representative survey of the architecture of synagogues in Germany before their destruction.

Dorfman, Rivka and Ben-Zion. Synagogues Without Jews. Jewish Publication society, 2001

This book uses synagogues to tell the histories of more than 30 Jewish communities – in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, northern Italy, Greece, and the Czech and Slovak Republics – that thrived before World War II. It includes floor plans, elevations, and full-color photographs.

Epstein-Mil, Ron. Die Synagogen der Schweiz. Zurich: Chronos, 2008

Fatta, Francesca, et al, eds. Architettura judaica in Italia: ebraismo, sito, memoria dei luoghi. Palermo: Flaccovio Editore, 1994

Fine, Steven, ed. Sacred Realm: The Emergence of the Synagogue in the Ancient World. New York/Oxford: Yeshiva University Museum/Oxford University Press, 1996

Gazda, Anikó. Zsinagógák és Zsidó Községek Magyarorszågon: Térképek, Rajzok, Adatok. Budapest: MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, 1991

Gazda, Anikó, et al. Magyarországi Zsinagógák. Budapest: Mu”szaki Könyvkiadó, 1989

Geissbühler, Simon. Like Shells on a Shore: Synagogues and Jewish Cemeteries of Northern Moldavia. Bern: Projekt 36, 2010

Goldman-Ida, Batsheva, ed. Alois Breyer / El Lissitzky / Frank Stella: Wooden Synagogues. (Exhibition Catalogue). Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2014. Click here to view Introduction online.

Gruber, Samuel D. Synagogues. New York: MetroBooks, 1999

Gruber, Samuel D. “The Synagogues of Piedmon.” In Ebrei Piemontesi: The Jews of Piedmont. New York: Yeshiva University Museum, 2008, 63-70

Hubka, Thomas C. Resplendent Synagogue: Architecture and Worship in an Eighteenth-Century Polish Community (Waltham: Brandeis, 2003)

A provocative interpretation of the art and architecture of a pre-modern wooden synagogue to illuminate the social, historical, and religious context of an Eastern-European Jewish community.

Jarrassé, Dominique. L’Age D’Or Des Synagogues. Paris: Herscher, 1991

Jarrassé, Dominique. Une Histoire des Synagogues Françaises entre Occident et Orient. Arles: Hébraïca Actes Sud, 1997

Jarrasse, Dominique. Synagogues. New Line Books, 2005.

Kadish, Sharman. Building Jerusalem: Jewish Architecture in Britain. London: Valentine Mitchell, 1996

Kadish, Sharman. The Synagogues of Britain and Ireland: An Architectural and Social History. The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2007

Kadish, the director of Jewish Heritage UK, traces the architecture of the synagogue in Britain and Ireland from its discreet Georgian- and Regency-era beginnings to the golden age of the grand “cathedral synagogues” of the High Victorian period. She examines the relationship between architectural style and minority identity in British society.

Kagan, Berl ed. Luboml: The Memorial Book of a Vanished Shtetl.New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1997.

Klein, Rudolf. Synagogues in Hungary, 1782-1918. Budapest: Terc, 2011 (English language edition 2017)

A massive and encyclopedic work on the history, forms and styles of synagogues in central Europe. Lavishly illustrated. Download and read excerpts of the book HERE.

Klein, Rudolf. The Great Synagogue of Budapest. (Budapest: Terc, 2008)

Kormos, Peter; Villanyi, Andras and Tamas Raj. Budapest Zsinagogai/The Synagogues of Budapest. Budapest: Villanyi Kiado, 2005.

Kravtsov, Sergey R. Di Gildene Royze: The Turei Zahav Synagogue in L’viv. Petersburg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2011

Kravtsov, Sergey R. “Gothic Survival in Synagogue Architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries in Volhynia, Ruthenia and Podolia.” in Architectura. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst/ Journal of the History of Architecture, vol. 1 (2005), 69—94.

Kravtsov, Sergey R. and Vladimir Levin. Synagogues in Ukraine: Volhynia. Jerusalem: Center for Jewish Art, 2017

Krinsky, Carol Herselle. Synagogues of Europe : Architecture, History, Meaning. Dover publications, 1996

Lattes, Franco and Paola Valentini. Parole, immagini, oggetti e architetture delle sinagoghe piemontesi (Words, images, objects and architectures of the Piedmontese synagogues). Tor9ino: Umberto Allemandi & Co., 2009. (Italian and English book accompanying permanent exhibition at the synagogue in Carmagnola.)

Lohr, Otto and Bernhard Purin. Jüdisches Kulturgut: Erkennen-Bewahren-Vermitteln. Munich: Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern, 2017.

Meek, Harold and Matthew Weinreb. The Synagogue. London: Phaidon, 2003

Meng, Michael. Shattered Spaces: Encountering Jewish Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011

Messinas Elias V. The Synagogues of Greece: A Study of Synagogues in Macedonia and Thrace. American Sephardi Federation, 2011. Click to access full text of the book online.

Messinas, Elias V. The Synagogues of Salonika and Veroia. Athens: Gavrielides Editions, 1997

Paulus, Simon. Die Architektur der Synagoge im Mittelalter: Überlieferung und Bestand. Petersburg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007

Piechotka, Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka. Heaven’s Gates: Wooden Synagogues in the Territories of the Former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Krupski I S-ka, 2004.

New version of a groundbreaking study originally published in the 1950s.

Podonyi, Hedvig and Toth, Jozsef (photographer). Zsinagogak Magyarorszagon/Synagogues of Hungary. Budapest: Viva (after 2004)

Rodov, Ilia. The Torah Ark in Renaissance Poland: A Jewish Revival of Classical Antiquity. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013

Sachs, Angeli and Edward Van Voolen, eds. Jewish Identity in Contemporary Architecture/Judische Identitat in Der Zeitgenossischen Architektur. Munich: Prestel, 2004

Seidel, Peter. Ganz Rein! Jüdische Ritualbäder. Vienna: Holzhausen, 2010. Exhibition catalogue, Seidel’s photographs of mikvaot in Europe.

Simon, Hermann. The New Synagogue, Berlin: Past-Present-Future. Berlin: Edition Hentrich, 1992

Snyder, Saskia Coenen. Building a Public Judaism: Synagogues and Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013.

Sosberger, Pavle. Sinagoge u Vojvodini: pomenica minulog vremena. Novi Sad: Prometej, 1998

Stavroulakis, Nikos. Jewish Sites and Synagogues of Greece. Talos Press, 1997

Stiefel, Barry L. “The Architectural Origins of the Great Early Modern Synagogue.” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. Volume 56, Issue 1. 2011 105-134.

Stiefel, Barry L. Jews and the Renaissance of Synagogue Architecture, 1450–1730. London/New York: Routledge, 2016

Streja, Aristide and Lucian Schwarz. Synagogues of Romania. Bucharest: Hasefer Publishing House.

Tanaka, Satoko. Wilhelm Stiassny (1842–1910) Synagogenbau, Orientalismus und jüdische Identität (PhD dissertation, University of Vienna, 2009). Viewable online at

United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. Jewish Cemeteries, Synagogues and Mass Grave Sites in Ukraine. Washington, DC, 2005.

Wigoder, Geoffrey. The Story of the Synagogue: A Diaspora Museum Book. New York: Harper & Row, 1986

Wisniewski, Tomasz. Jewish Bialystok and Surroundings in Eastern Europe: a Guide for Yesterday and Today. Ipswitch, Mass.: Ipswitch Press, 1998

Wischnitzer, Rachel. The Architecture of The European Synagogue. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1964

Yaniv, Bracha. The Carved Wooden Torah Arks of Eastern Europe. Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2017

Zimiles, Murray. Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses: The Synagogue to the Carousel, Jewish Carving Traditions. Brandeis University Press, 2007