Sofia Synagogue, Sofia

Sofia Synagogue, Sofia

The Sofia Synagogue serves the spiritual needs of Sofia's Sephardic Jews. It is the largest synagogue in Southeastern Europe and is one of the two operating synagogues in Bulgaria. Designed by the Austrian architect Friedrich Grunanger, it opened in the presence of Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria in 1909.

It was similar to the Moorish Leopoldstadter Temple of Vienna. It was built on a lot previously occupied by another synagogue. It was intended as a part of the reorganization of the Bulgarian Jewish community. The synagogue is next to the Central Market Hall. It can hold 1,300 persons. The main chandelier weighs nearly two tons.

The attendance at services is never large enough to fill the space available. Although the Synagogue is located in "Tolerance Square", Bulgaria's reputation for tolerance has not been as as sterling as it might have been. Most of the country's Jews opted to move to Israel.

The style of the building is Moorish Revival with influences of the artists school of the Vienna Secession. The facade shows Venetian elements. The synagogue has an octagonal dome. The interior has columns of Carrara marble, Venetian mosaics, and ornate woodcarvings.

As of 1992 the Synagogue hosts the Jewish Museum of History. The history includes the fate of Jews in Bulgaria, the Holocaust and Rescue. There is also a gift shop.

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Sofia Synagogue on Map

Sight Name: Sofia Synagogue
Sight Location: Sofia, Bulgaria (See walking tours in Sofia)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Sofia, Bulgaria

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Create Your Own Walk in Sofia

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 Km or 4.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

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