Heritage & Heritage Sites

 

OSLO

 

Three attached buildings — a senior citizens’ home, a synagogue, and a community center — make up the Jewish community complex.

Synagogue

Bergstien 13/15/17
0172 Oslo
Tel: 23 20 57 50

 

The synagogue was founded in 1892 and the present structure, which architectural historian Carol Herselle Krinsky has described as looking “like a simple and charming country chapel,” was built in 1920. The building, with a peaked roof and small side tower topped by a star of David,  escaped destruction during World War II. Inside, it is noteworthy for its high-arched ceiling with a front arch, over the Bimah and Ark, bordered by a design like a tallit or prayer shawl, which bears the inscription, “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwelling places, O Israel.” The Ark stands at the top of carved wooden stairs; the floor is covered with Oriental carpets. Stained-glass windows feature a Magen David design.

360 Degree Panorama of the Interior of the Synagogue (plus other photographs of the interior and exterior)

Photographic Documentation of the Synagogue by Jono David

 

Former Calmeyer Street synagogue

A two-storey building with curving windows located in the back yard of 15 Calmeyer street served as Oslo’s second synagogue from 1921 to 1942.  It was designed by the architect Erik Fjeld for a congregation that mainly comprised poor, recent immigrants from Eastern Europe. Over the years, the building has been The building has been used as a veterinary clinic, a factory, a Kurdish cultural center, and a Koran school. But it is once again a Jewish center. See the history of the building here.

 

Jewish Cemetery

There is a Jewish section of the Oslo Municipal Cemetery, which opened 1875 at Tvetenveien 7/Stroensveien 105.  The older gravestones are inscribed with Hebrew epitaphs.


TRONDHEIM

 

Synagogue

 

Arkitekt Christiesgate 1B

When the Jewish community of Trondheim was founded in 1905 it bought a building located at Jørgensveita 7, which served as a synagogue, cheder, and residence for the community’s religious leader. In the early 1920s more space was needed and the community purchased a former railway station from the city and remodeled it.

The synagogue was consecrated in 1925, and  is the northernmost purpose-built synagogue in the world. (The smaller synagogue in Fairbanks, Alaska is a few km further north.) This imposing Romanesque Revival (or Rundbogenstil) building was used by the Nazis as a warehouse and barracks and badly damaged. It was restored and re-consecrated in 1947. Though the interior had been destroyed, some of the ritual objects were saved by the local Methodist church and kept in secret storage throughout the war. In 1955 a Jewish community center, including a Hebrew school, was added.

The sanctuary can seat 150; it includes a women’s gallery. On the ground floor there is a large meeting room, a kitchen, apartments for a teacher and a caretaker, and a smaller synagogue, with room for about 20 worshippers. This little synagogue doubles as a cheder. There is a mikveh in the basement that was used until the German occupation.

Panoramic view of the interior of the synagogue, plus other pictures

Photographic Documentation of the Synagogue by Jono David