Jewish Heritage Europe

Heritage & Heritage Sites

GENERAL

List of Synagogues and Prayer Rooms in Switzerland (from Federation web site)

Jewish Virtual Library pictures of Swiss Synagogues 

List of addresses for Jewish Cemeteries in Switzerland (from Federation web site)

International Jewish Cemetery Project Page on Switzerland

Jewish Virtual Library tour of Switzerland

INDIVIDUAL SITES

There are around 40 synagogues and Jewish prayer rooms in Switzerland, and dozens of Jewish cemeteries. You can find the addresses and basic information for sites from the lists we link to above. Here below, we include information and links to some sites with their own web sites or more extensive online information.

BADEN

Synagogue

317, Parkstrasse, Baden
Tel: +41 56 222 94 36

Built in 1913 and designed by Baden architects Otto Dorians and Adolf Fuchslin.

Info on the synagogue on AEPJ Jewish heritage routes

Jewish Cemetery

Zürcherstrasse 108

Founded in the late 19th century. The Jewish community web site has a downloadable PDF map of the cemetery, with list of names of those buried there. There is also a “find a grave search function.

BASEL

Jewish community web site

Synagogue, Jewish cemetery, active Jewish community, and home of the Jewish Museum of Switzerland.

Synagogue

Leimenstrasse 24
Tel.: +41 56 222 94 46
E-Mail: ikg@baden.ch

Grand synagogue, designed by the architect Hermann Gauss and dedicated in 1868 in an eclectic style combining Moorish, Byzantine, and Romanesque elements. It was expanded in 1892 — when it got its distinctive twin-domed appearance.

Jewish cemetery

Theodor-Herzl Strasse 90

Jewish Museum of Switzerland

Petersgraben 31
CH-4051 Basel
Tel: +41 (0) 61 261 95 14
Email: info@juedisches-museum.ch

Bâleph

A mobile phone and tablet app that affords a 13-stop, multimedia walking tour documenting the 800-year history of Jews in Basel. It features  text, sound, and images; an Interactive timeline, and a city map with GPS function.

ENDINGEN-LENGNAU

Jews were permitted to establish permanent settlements in these two neighboring villages near Baden after Jews were readmitted to Swiss territory following the expulsions of the Middle Ages. From 1622 Jews there had the status of “protected foreigners,” and from 1776 they were the only two places in the county of Baden where Jews were allowed to live. Only in 1866 did the Swiss Federation allow Jews to settle elsewhere in Switzerland. Jewish heritage sites include two synagogues — one in each village — and a Jewish cemetery between the two villages that was founded in 1750, making it Switzerland’s oldest existing Jewish cemetery. The Synagogue in Lengnau hosts a permanent exhibition on the Jews in Switzerland.  (Lengnau had no church, only a synagogue).  Local authorities have created a Jewish Heritage Path with a web site and downloadable brochure in English and other languages, taking in these sites.

Jewish Heritage in Endingen-Lengnau (“Jewish Heritage Path”)

Association of the Jewish Heritage Path
Gemeindeverwaltung Lengnau
CH-5426 Lengnau AG
Tel: +41 56 266 50 10
Fax: +41 56 266 50 15
Email: info@juedischerkulturweg.ch

Description, maps, driving directions, history, photographs, downloadable brochure, and more.

“The Swiss Roots of the Guggenheim”

Article by Roy Oppenheim detailing Jewish history in the villages, especially noting the roots there of the Guggenheim dynasty. (Other notable natives include the director William Wyler, who was also born in Endingen, and  the  composer Ernest Bloch, from Lengnau.)

“Preserving the Swiss Shtetls of Endingen and Lengnau”

Article in Hadassah Magazine by Alan Tigay, September 2017

Jewish Cemetery

5304 Endingen-Lengnau
Tel.: +41 56 242 15 46
Email: jules.bloch@gmx.ch

The cemetery replaced an earlier Jewish burial place established in the early 17th century on a now-nonexistent island in the Rhine River; there are about 2,700 graves.

Photographic Documentation of the Jewish Cemetery, by Jono David

GENEVA

Geneva Jewish Community web site

Beth Yaakov Synagogue (Grande Synagogue; Ashkenazi synagogue)

Place de la Synagogue
1204 Geneva

The building, designed by the architect Jean-Henri Bachofen, was completed in 1859 and is marked by large dome above an octagonal base.

Article by Haim F. Ghiuzeli on the Bet Hatfutsot web site detailing the history and architecture of the synagogue.

Jewish Cemeteries

Geneva Jewish  Community web page on cemeteries

Old Jewish Cemetery

Rue de la Fontenette
1226 Carouge

Founded in the late 18th century and restored in 1996, the cemetery is located outside of Geneva in neighboring Carouge. There are some 720 burials. It was in use until 1920.

Veyrier Jewish Cemetery

Though serving Geneva, with its entrance in Switzerland, the cemetery grounds lie in France. This is because of a law in 1876 that barred denomination cemeteries in Switzerland.

“The Problem of Jewish Burials in Geneva, Switzerland”

Article about the cemeteries by Ronnie Nussenblatt, in Avotaynu, October 2010

Travel article on Jewish Geneva in Hadassah Magazine

Comprehensive article by Esther Hecht on Jewish sites, institutions, and facilities in the city.

LA CHAUX-DES-FONDS

Synagogue

63, rue du Parc
2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds

Designed in neo-Byzantine style by the Strasbourg architect  M. Kuder and located in the city center, the synagogue was dedicated in 1896. Landmarked as a monument of regional importance, it has an ornate interior (designed by local architect Gustave Clerc) and a tall central cupola — 32 metres in height — with a brightly colored tiled roof, topping an octagonal tambour with 24 windows. Celebrations were held in 2016 to mark its 120th anniversary.

See details about the architecture and history of the building (in French)

See detailed history and photos of the synagogue (in German)

See a Swiss TV video about the synagogue

ZURICH

Active Jewish community (the largest in Switzerland), with synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and other infrastructure.

Synagogue

Löwenstrasse 10

Moorish-style synagogue build in 1884. Listed as a regional historic monument.

Information on the history and architecture of the synagogue in Alemannia-judaica (in German)

Lenthy wikipedia article on the synagogue

Jewish Cemeteries

There are two Jewish cemeteries, next to each other.

Jewish community web page on the cemeteries, with clickable maps.

Old Jewish Cemetery (Friedhof Unterer Friesenberg)

Friesenbergstrasse 160

In use from 1866 to the 1950s.

Photographic Documentation of the Friedhof Unterer Friesenberg (Old Jewish Cemetery), by Jono David

New Jewish Cemetery (Friedhof Oberer Friesenberg)

Friesenbergstrasse 330

Opened in the 1950s and currently in use.

Photographic Documentation of the New Jewish Cemetery, by Jono David