Stuck at home because of COVID-19 quarantine, lockdown, or social distancing?
We’re posting links to virtual tours and other online explorations of Jewish museums, synagogues, and other Jewish heritage sites — even Jewish catacombs.
We started last week with links to virtual tours of some of Italy’s gorgeous Jewish heritage sites — including synagogues, Jewish museums, Jewish cemeteries.
Here are a few more — and we’ll be adding more in future posts. (Click the title to access the tour.)
So stay home — but explore!
A project by Louis A. Davidson and now hosted by the Bet Hatfutsot web site, Synagogues360 allows you to visit individual synagogues located all over the world, by means of interactive 360 degree panoramic photos. You can look around, zoom in, explore details.
The web site also has put together a number of thematic “Synagogue Tours” that you can follow — linking synagogues by architectural or artistic style.
Třebíč is a small town in the Czech Republic not far from Brno that has one of the largest and most intact old Jewish quarters in central Europe. The Quarter includes two synagogues, the Jewish town hall, and many other buildings amid the streets and squares of the original layout of the district. The old Jewish cemetery spreads out on a hill above.
The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery and the nearby Basilica of St. Procopius are included on the UNESCO roster of world cultural heritage sites; among the few specifically Jewish heritage sites on the list.
The virtual tour allows armchair travellers to “look around” 360 degrees; go down cobbled streets, and enter buildings — including the two synagogues and the Seligmann Bauer House, which since 2011 has been presented as a museum displaying everyday Jewish life in the town before World War II. The captions on the index are in Czech — but easy to figure out.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of the town to whet your appetite:
Explore the spectacular New Synagogue in Szeged, Hungary in this stunning video. The second largest synagogue in Hungary (after the Dohany st. synagogue in Budapest), the Szeged synagogue, inaugurated in 1903, is the masterpiece of the Budapest-based architect Lipót Baumhorn, central Europe’s most prolific synagogue architect. (A bas relief carving of the massive dome of the Szeged synagogue decorates the upper portion of Baumhorn’s gravestone in Budapest’s Kozma utca Jewish cemetery.)
The synagogue, owned by the Jewish community, is a city landmark operated as a tourist attraction with regular visiting hours and also a cultural venue for concerts and other events. Baumhorn also designed the Jewish community headquarters building across the street, as well as the ceremonial hall in the Jewish cemetery.
These Jewish catacombs date from between the 4th and 6th centuries CE. Located under Maddalena Hill outside town, they occupy an extensive network of passages, along three main corridors on more than one level, and feature several types of burials spaces.
This is a rather amazing 3D computer reconstruction of the catacombs online.
The captions are in Italian, but easy to follow.
The POLIN Museum offers virtual tours of its Core Exhibit, which tells the 1000-year story of Polish Jews. You can visit highlights or take one of several thematic tours, including one of the role of Jewish women, and one on Jewish religious life.
Created by the POLIN museum, Jewish Warsaw is a richly detailed, multimedia online resource, presenting Warsaw as seen through the history of its Jewish residents, past and present — for visitors as well as for armchair travelers. There is also a Jewish Warsaw smartphone app.
The Center for Urban History in Lviv posted this interactive online walking tour of Jewish Lviv that uses maps, photographs and archival material, video, and text to tell the story of places and people, and also to prompt discussion on how to preserve and educate about the city’s Jewish history and cultural heritage.
The Center for Urban Historyposted this informative virtual tour of Holocaust sites in the city as part of the Center’s “Lviv Interactive” project. Itwas designed on the basis of the materials of the street exhibition “Lviv, Lwów, לעמבערג, Lemberg’43: City of (un)memory”, hosted at 12 locations within the urban space during summer and autumn 2018.