Slovak media is reporting on progress in the restoration of the long-derelict synagogue that anchors the Orthodox Jewish compound on Zvonarska street in Košice, the main city in eastern Slovakia.
Korzár Košice writes that the latest step in the slow but ongoing work has been the installation of new floor tiling in the sanctuary, with underfloor heating. The tiles, it says, replicate the original tiles, which had been seriously damaged with only small portions of them remaining.
Korzár Košice publishes a photo gallery of the interior with the new flooring, showing the general dilapidated state of the building.
Built in 1899, the synagogue, which has Moorish-style decorative painting covering the inner walls, 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.
In recent years, the facade was restored, the roof was repaired, and stained glass windows were replaced. But — as can be seen in the Korzár Košice photos — much remains to be done.
The synagogue anchors the Jewish compound that is still the heart of Jewish life in Košice. It stands between two courtyards where there are a beit midrash, Jewish community offices, a mikveh, and other facilities.
Several other synagogue buildings still stand in Košice. Among them the former domed Neolog synagogue, now a concert hall, and New Orthodox Synagogue on Pushkinova street, dating from 1927, which was restored in recent years and is used on occasion by the Jewish comunity.