The government-funded renovation of the exterior of the monumental New Synagogue in Szeged, Hungary, has been completed. A ceremony Sept. 3 attended by Jewish leaders, Szeged’s mayor, the Israeli ambassador to Hungary and other VIPs marked the event, at the opening of the Szeged Autumn Jewish Cultural Festival.
The work included repair of the main dome, the towers, the roof, and the facade, as well as gutters and drainage. The fence and precious stained glass windows incorporating rich Jewish symbolism were repaired, and the Biblical garden designed by Rabbi Immanual Löw, who consulted with Baumhorn on many facets of the design and lavish decorative elements, has been replanted.
The video above shows images of the work as it was being carried out.
As we reported at the time, work began in earnest on the restoration of the magnificent building — the masterpiece of Lipot Baumhorn, pre-WW2 Europe’s most prolific synagogue architect — just over a year ago.
Work on the opulent interior of the building remains to be carried out.
The government announced in 2014 that it had allocated some one billion forints (then $4 million) for much-needed repairs on the building, which was inaugurated in 1903. It had been hoped that all reconstruction work will be concluded by the synagogue’s 115th anniversary in 2018.
A bas relief carving of the dome of the Szeged synagogue floating in clouds, as befits the architect’s most famous creation, decorates the upper portion of Baumhorn’s gravestone in Budapest’s Kozma utca Jewish cemetery.