Jewish Heritage Europe

Heritage and Heritage sites

GENERAL

Synagoga Slovaca

The most comprehensive web site and searchable database of Jewish heritage sites in Slovakia, including synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.

Slovak Jewish Heritage Route 

Network of about two dozen key Jewish heritage sites in all regions of Slovakia, maintained in partnership with local institutions and organizations.

Jewish Heritage in Slovakia

Travel resource, with summary descriptions of Jewish heritage sites around the country.

Jewish Cemeteries in Slovakia

Contact numbers for a selected list of Jewish cemeteries maintained by the Union of Jewish Communities. NOTE: the web site was being updated and reorganized in early 2018, so the list may not be available.

International Jewish Cemetery Project – Slovakia

Lo-Tishkach Slovak Cemetery Preliminary Report – April 2008

Download from here the  PDF file of a detailed preliminary report on Legislation & Practice Relating to the Protection and Preservation of Jewish Burial Grounds in Slovakia, prepared by Lo-Tishkach

INDIVIDUAL SITES

There are more than 100 synagogues buildings and more than 700 Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia: you can find lists and information by visiting the general links above. We list here major sites as well as those having their own web sites.

BRATISLAVA

Active synagogue on Heydukova street; fragment of medieval synagogue; Chatam Sofer memorial at underground site of old cemetery; Orthodox and Neolog Jewish cemeteries; Museum of Jewish Culture; Bratislava Jewish community museum; Holocaust memorials. Almost all of Bratislava’s historic Jewish quarter, including the twin-towered, Moorish-style synagogue, was destroyed in the late 1960s when the New Bridge and a cross-town highway were built. This video from 1966  shows the beginning of the construction and features remarkable footage of the synagogue before its destruction.

See an interactive map of Jewish heritage sites in Bratislava

The main sites include:

Heydukova Street Synagogue

Heydukova 11-13, Bratislava
48°8’49.00″N, 17°6’43.50″E

Designed by the Bratislava-based Jewish architect Artur Szalatnai and completed in 1926, the synagogue is the only surviving synagogue in Bratislava. Its design includes cubist and art deco elements.

Bratislava Jewish Community Museum 

Opened in 2012 in the women’s gallery of the Heydukova Street synagogue, the museum includes key items from the Judaica collection of the Bratislava Jewish community as well as other objects – some of them associated with the Holocaust – donated by individual community members.

Chatam Sofer Memorial

Email: memorial@znoba.sk

The underground remnants of the city’s Old Jewish Cemetery, which was destroyed in World War II to build a trolley line and tunnel. It includes nerly two dozen graves including the tomb of the revered Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, known as the Chatam Sofer (or Chasam Sofer), a leading orthodox authority, who died in 1939. A place of pilgrimage, the site was redesigned as a memorial in 2000-2002. It can be visited by contacting the Jewish community at the email above.

Museum of Jewish Culture

Židovská 17
Tel: +421 2 204 90 101, +421 2 204 90 104

 A branch of the Slovak National Museum, opened in 1994 in the Zsigray Mansion as one of the first new Jewish museums in post-Communist Europe.

Jewish Cemeteries

Both the large Orthodox Jewish cemetery and the Neolog Jewish cemetery are on Žižkova street on a slope above the Danube River.

The Jewish cemetery web site has details about both, with a searchable database of burials.

BANSKÁ ŠTIAVNICA

An important silver mining town where  Jews were barred until the ban on Jewish residence in mining towns was lifted in 1859.

Synagogue

The long-dilapidated Synagogue built in 1893 and located in the town center, is owned by the local ERB Brewery and now forms part of the brewery complex following a 14-month, nearly €900,000 reconstruction completed in 2014. The exterior of the synagogue was preserved but the interior is part of the brewery. There is commemorative plaque honoring the destroyed Jewish community.

Jewish Cemetery

Founded in 1892 on Novozámocká Street, below the New Castle, the cemetery is located on a slope overlooking the town. There are graves of some 228 people, all documented, in the walled enclosure and a distinctive chapel/ceremonial hall with a Moorish-style dome and arches. The cemetery and chapel have recently been restored as part of an ongoing civic initiative led by a local teacher, Beata Nemcova. The cemetery is a site on the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route.

Jewish Heritage in Banská Štiavnica web site

Information on the synagogue, the Jewish cemetery and other sites in the town.

Banská Štiavnica page on the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route

BARDEJOV

Bardejov’s medieval core and the site of its former “Jewish Suburbium” of communal institutional buildings just outside the town walls are on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Also, the small, fully intact Chevra Bikur Cholim synagogue, founded in 1929, is in the town center. There is a Jewish cemetery.

Jewish Cemetery

Ludovit Stur street

The cemetery includes more than 1,200 graves dating from the 18th to the 20th century. It underwent restoration in 2005-2009 and is well maintanted. See more

Chevra Bikur Cholim synagogue

Kláštorská ulica 20

Small, beautifully preserved synagogue in the center of Bardejov near the market square,  established in 1929 by the Jewish charitable organization Chevra Bikur Cholim.

Jewish Suburbium

Mlynská 13

The Suburbium compound includes the early 19th century Great Synagogue (one of two surviving synagogues in Slovakia built around a central four-pillar bimah), a mikveh, and Beit Midrash. The synagogue was declared a cultural monument in 1970, but it stood derelict for decades, used as a storehouse for plumbing fixtures.

Under the ownership of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia (CFJ), the compound has undergone renovation in collaboration with the Civic Association Vita in Suburbium and with the support of the U.S.-based Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee. The renovation was supported by a 649,703 euro grant (mainly from the EEA/Norway Fund) and co-financed by the State Budget of the Slovak Republic.

The restoration of the synagogue was awarded  CE-ZA-AR. prize for architecture in Slovakia, presented by the Slovak Chamber of Architects in 2017.

Jewish Suburbium project web site

UNESCO World Heritage List Description of Bardejov

Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee

Read our April article about completion of the renovation

Take a Virtual Tour of the Jewish Suburbium

Download a PDF brochure about the project

BYTČA

Synagogue

Neo-Romanque/Moorish synagogue built in 1886 and, although listed as a national cultural monument in 1990, has long languished in derelict condition. It is currently under (slow) renovation.

Synagogue restoration web site: In English and in Slovak

KOMARNO

Synagogue – Jewish Community (Menhaz)

Eötvösa Street 15
Tel: +421 35/773 12 24

The active Jewish community  “Menhaz” complex includes a 19th century synagogue in a former Jewish home for the elderly. It has a small Jewish community museum.

The former Orthodox synagogue is now integrated into the complex of a (non-Jewish) old age home. The Neolog Temple is used as a sports club.

Jewish cemetery

Ul. zlatého muža  1

Established in 1858 net tothe city cemetery and expanded in 1923. The size was reduced in 1977, when highway construction forced the transfer of 858 graves.

KOŠICE

The capital of eastern Slovakia has the country’s second largest Jewish comunity and many heritage sites. The Jewish courtyard/Orthodox Jewish compound has a 19th century synagogue (under reconstruction but used for cultural events); kosher lunchroom; mikveh; prayer room. Elsewhere there’s a large Orthodox synagogue on Pushkinova street, currently in use; former Neolog synagogue, built in 1926-27 on Moyesova street (now Philharmonic hall); former Jewish school; wartime ghetto; Old and New Jewish cemeteries

Jewish Heritage Sites in Kosice

Includes photos and information on synagogues and other sites that still stand as well as on sites that have been demolished.

Orthodox Jewish Compound

Zvornarska 5

Information on the Slovak Jewish Heritage web site. The compound is anchored by the synagogue, built in 1899, which has Moorish-style decorative painting covering the inner walls and was designed by János Balog, a local contractor. It was used for decades after World War II as a storage space for the State Scientific Library. The books were removed when the synagogue was returned to Jewish ownership in 1995, and it has stood empty since then though undergoing slow restoration.

Read our February 2018 article updating the restoration

New Orthodox Synagogue

Pushkinova 3

A monumental synagogue that resembles a stylized fortress and is still use by the Jewish community. It was built in 1926-27 and was designed by the local architects Ludovit Oelschlager and Gejza Zoltan Bosko. The ornate interior has undergone restoration.

Jewish cemeteries

Old Jewish cemetery

Tatranská ulica

Established in 1842 and in use until 1888. There are aroud 150 surviving gravestones.

New Jewish Cemetery

Rastislavova street

Established in 1885 and currently in use. There is a Holocaust memorial constructed of the metal Star of David that once topped the dome of the Reform Synagogue.

Jewish Community web site

Jewish Culture and its Heritage in Slovakia after 1989: Urban sites of remembrance in Košice and their meanings

 Article by Vanda Vitti, University of Munich

LEVICE

Synagogue

Ul. Kálmána Kittenbergera 1
Levice
Tel: (036)3 812 211

Designed by Gustáv Šišák and built in the 1880s; remodeled in 1902 by the local architect and builder Rudolf Czibulka; declared a historical monument in 1980. Owned by the city and derelict for decades after World War II, it was restored and rededicated as a cultural center in 2012.

Synagogue/Culture center web site

Includes detailed history of the building (in Slovak)

The Slovak Postal Service issued a stamp dedicated to the synagogue in January 2014

Includes history of the synagogue and its reconstruction

LUČENEC

Synagogue

Adyho 69/7
Lučenec 984 01
Tel: +421 911 733 980
Facebook page

Completed in 1926, the immense domed structure is the only surviving synagogue out of  five that once stood in the town, which is in southern Slovakia near the border with Hungary. It was designed by the prolific Hungarian synagogue architect Lipot Baumhorn and is a typical example of Baumhorn’s grand, eclectic style.  The communist authorities nationalized the synagogue in 1948 and for more than 30 years it was used as a warehouse for artificial fertilizers. It stood empty and dilapidated after being abandoned in 1980. The building received a new roof in the 1990s, but otherwise plans for restoration never  got off the ground for lack of funding and it remained abandoned and derelict for decades.

It was fully restored as a cultural and performance venue with a Jewish exhibit and Holocaust memorial in 2015-16, financed by a €2.3 million EU grant.

A detailed history of the sporadic attempts to restore the building since 1990 can be found on the synagogue web site.

Watch video of the restoration:

MALACKY

Synagogue

Na brehu 916/2, 901 01 Malacky, Slovakia<
Tel: +421 34/772 22 86

Moorish style synagogue with striped exterior and two low, domed towers, built for the Neolog community in 1886-87 and designed by Wilhelm Stiassny, is now an art school. The sanctuary was cut in half horizontally, but much interior ornamentation preserved, including the ark and the ornate wooden ceiling. Can be visited.

Town web site with info on synagogue

NITRA

Synagogue

Pri synagóge 1387/3, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
Tel: +421 37/652 53 20

Synagogue designed by the Hungarian architect Lipot Baumhorn and built in 1908-11 serves as a cultural center and also houses Slovakia’s national Holocaust memorial exhibition, “The Fate of Slovak Jews,” in the women’s gallery.

Jewish cemeteries

Hviezdoslavova trieda

There are well-preserved orthodox and Neolog Jewish cemeteries next to each other on a hill overlooking the town. They comprise one of the best preserved Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia with about 5000 graves. There is also a cemetery chapel and Holocaust memorial.

PREŠOV

Picturesque town in eastern Slovakia with a small active Jewish communiity and important Jewish heritage sites.

 Orthodox Jewish Compound

Okružná 32, Prešov

The Orthodox compound is a communal courtyard anchored by  a large synagogue built in 1897-1898 with a very opulent interior. There are also several other buildings and the Jewish community office. The important Barkany Judaica collection displayed in women’s gallery of the synagogue.

Jewish community/synagogue web site

Former Neolog synagogue

Konstantinova 7

The synagogue, across town from the orthodox compound, is now a store.

Jewish cemetery

Links to lists of burials in the Orthodox and the Neolog Jewish cemeteries

Interactive map of the Neolog Jewish cemetery

SAHY (Hungarian Ipolysag)

Two former synagogues; two Jewish cemeteries; large Holocaust memorial. The Orthodox synagogue at Ružová ulica 48 was built in 1929 and, at least until recently, used as a warehouse.

Status Quo Synagogue

Bélu Bartóka Square 13
Tel: +421 36/741 10 54

Built in 1852, the synagogue — with a flat facade marked by three arches — was acquired by a local activist, restored, and converted into the Menorah art gallery and cultural venue in 2001s.

Menorah Saag Centrum Artis 

Article by JHE Coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber about the center

Holocaust Memorial

Designed by Adriana Kutaková, the memorial — in the courtyard of the town history museum — features a list of names of local Jews killed during the Holocaust. There is a text in Slovak, Hungarian, English and Hebrew.

Jewish Cemeteries

There are two Jewish cemeteries in town: a well-maintained Neolog cemetery on Lesná ulica, with graves from the 19th and early 20th centuries,  and a much smaller and less well maintained Orthodox cemetery, on Severná časť in an industrial area in the northern part of town.

SAMORIN

A contemporary art gallery and culture center, the At Home Gallery, is located in the early 20th century synagogue and surrounding Jewish complex. There is a Jewish cemetery near the synagogue.

Synagogue

Mliecnanska street

Built in 1912, the synagogue was used as a warehouse after the war and stood derelict for decades, until Csaba and Suzanne Kiss took it over in 1995 and founded the At Home Gallery contemporary arts center there. They rent it for a symbolic sum from the Union of Jewish Communities in Slovakia. The building was restored in a way that maintained evidence of the damage it suffered during and after the Holocaust.

At Home Gallery

SPISSKE PODHRADIE

The typical small provincial synagogue has been undergoing restoration. It is located in an important town, church and castle complex listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is an abandoned Jewish cemetery.

Synagogue

Built in the 1870s and renovated after a fire in the early 1900s. It has a flat tripartite façade with a raised central section, marked by by four pillars topped with stone spheres. Much of the interior remains intact, including the  ark, the cast iron columns supporting the women’s gallery, and some painted decorations.

Synagogue on World Monuments Fund web site

UNESCO listing for Spis Castle region

STUPAVA

One of the oldest synagogues and one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia. The synagogue (currently being restored by the private Jewrope foundation) dates from 1803 and is one of two in Slovakia built around a four-pillar bimah. The earliest documented gravestone in the cemetery is from 1642.

Jewrope web site

Includes a virtual tour of the synagogue, a map of the Jewish cemetery, and other documentation

Article in The Forward (2015) about Stupava synagogue project and Stupava Jewish cemetery

Stupava synagogue on Slovak Jewish Heritage web site

TRNAVA

Two former synagogues across the street from each other, both converted for other use Jewish cemetery.

Status Quo Synagogue

Halenarska street

Designed by the Viennese architect Jakob Gartner and built in 1897, the synagogue in the early 1990s was a ruined shell. The building was restored to some extent in the mid-1990s for use as the Jan Koniarek contemporary arts center. The restorers chose to retain and incorporate evidence of the devastation. The outer appearance was left to look untouched, except for the new windows. This treatment allowed the building to stand not just as a contemporary culture center, but, symbolically, as a memorial to the town’s 2,000 Jews who were murdered in the Shoah. (A  sculptural Holocaust memorial stands outside near the entrance.)

The synagogue reopened in early 2016 after a new, €1 million restoration, carried out by the Trnava Self-Governing region with funding from the EU. This restoration to some extent reversed the choice to retain explicit evidence of destruction. It “cleaned up” the building, particularly on the outside, which now looks pristine — even the damaged Ten Commandments tablets above the facade have been repaired — though it still retains some traces of the damage inside.

Jan Koniarka Gallery of Contemporary Art 

See our report, with photos from early 1990s to the present, on the reconstructions of the building

Orthodox Synagogue

Havlikova street

After remaining locked and abandoned; disused and in neglected shape for decades, the synagogue was acquired by a private investorin the mid-2000s restored (also preserving signs of damage) and opened as a privateart gallery. This gallery closed, and the synagogue  was again renovated andto become the “Synagoga Cafe”, an upscale meeting-and-eating place that also hosts concerts, literary events, and other cultural happenings.

According to the cafe web site, the renovation into a cafe won an award as the most beautiful renovated sacral building in Slovakia. It preserves the decorative elements, including the painted ceiling and the ark. There is an open central area, with glass-walled private mini-lounged on either side, under the women’s gallery.

Synagoga Cafe web site

See our report, with pictures, on the renovation of the building

Jewish Cemetery

Nitrianska 8-15

Founded in 1879, near the military cemetery and Evangelical cemeteries, it has more than 1,000 graves of both the Orthodox and Neolog communities. The ceremonial hall is now a residence.

ZILINA

Two synagogues; active Jewish community; Jewish cemetery.

Neolog synagogue

The modernist former Neolog synagogue was inaugurated in 1931 and designed by the noted German architect Peter Behrens. Llong used as a university hall and a cinema, it has been restored and repurposed as a center for contemporary art. (We have written extensively on this project on JHE –search the News Feed for articles).

Novasynagoga.sk

Web site of the project to restore the New Synagogue, with extensive photo documentation and other material

Orthodox synagogue

The orthodox synagogue is used by the Jewish community and houses a display of Judaica that is a branch of Museum of Jewish Culture. 

Jewish Community Zilina web site

Extensive information on the synagogues and Jewish cemetery