The most comprehensive web site and searchable database of Jewish heritage sites in Slovakia, including synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.
Network of about two dozen key Jewish heritage sites in all regions of Slovakia, maintained in partnership with local institutions and organizations.
Read online or download Dr. Maros Borsky’s PhD thesis (which he later published as a book). The most comprehensive source of information on this topic.
Travel resource, with summary descriptions of Jewish heritage sites around the country, on the web site of Polish tour guide and scholar Tomasz Cebulski.
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.
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
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.
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.
The main sites include:
Heydukova 11-13, Bratislava
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An important silver mining town where Jews were barred until the ban on Jewish residence in mining towns was lifted in 1859.
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.
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.
Information on the synagogue, the Jewish cemetery and other sites in the town.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Includes photos and information on synagogues and other sites that still stand as well as on sites that have been demolished.
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.
New Orthodox Synagogue
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.
Old Jewish cemetery
Established in 1842 and in use until 1888. There are aroud 150 surviving gravestones.
New Jewish Cemetery
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.
Article by Vanda Vitti, University of Munich
Ul. Kálmána Kittenbergera 1
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.
Includes detailed history of the building (in Slovak)
Includes history of the synagogue and its reconstruction
Lučenec 984 01
Tel: +421 911 733 980
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former Neolog synagogue
The synagogue, across town from the orthodox compound, is now a store.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Synagogue, mikvah, Jewish cemetery.
Mierové Square 12
Built in 1907-1911 in a mixture of neo-Romaneque and Moorish styles, it was once a part of the Jewish community compound, which included a ritual bath (mikvah), matza bakery, rabbi’s office, small prayer hall and other community buildings. These have been lost or only partially preserved as archeological finds, as is the case with the mikvah and the baking furnace. Restoration work started in 2018, funded by the Bratislava Self-Governing Region.
Founded in the 1880s, it comprises around 200 graves, which all have been mapped and documented.
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.
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.
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.
Includes a virtual tour of the synagogue, a map of the Jewish cemetery, and other documentation
Two former synagogues across the street from each other, both converted for other use Jewish cemetery.
Status Quo Synagogue
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.
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.
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.
Two synagogues; active Jewish community; Jewish cemetery.
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).
Web site of the project to restore the New Synagogue, with extensive photo documentation and other material
The orthodox synagogue is used by the Jewish community and houses a display of Judaica that is a branch of Museum of Jewish Culture.
Extensive information on the synagogues and Jewish cemetery