Tempel Synagogue

ul. Miodowa 24, Kraków


The name tempel – which obviously denotes a “temple” – used to be very broad and refer to many synagogues built around Europe (e.g. in Wrocław or Kharkiv).

These types of structures were established by Progressive Jews who wished to distance themselves from the orthodox movement at the beginning of the 18th century. They were called maskil, which means “enlightened”.

The Kraków synagogue was erected in the years 1860-1862 in the round-arch style based on Ignacy Hercok' design. During several decades it was repeatedly expanded. The specificity of the progressive scheme of the Tempel Synagogue was the fact that the sermons were delivered once a week in Polish and German interchangeably. The most prominent preacher was Rabbi Dr. Ozjasz Thon, a Polish MP in the interwar period. Another innovation introduced to spite tradition was giving women permission to sing next to the chanter and the choir. This made the synagogue harshly criticised by orthodox Jews associated with the Remuh Synagogue.

During World War II, the synagogue was turned into a warehouse, but the interior did not sustain as severe damage as other temples. The set of 36 stained-glass windows on the ground floor and the first floor, mainly with floral and geometric patterns, is both beautiful and unique. Many of the windows have retained signatures of their founders. The interior of the synagogue decorated in the Moorish style was thoroughly renovated in the years 1987-2000. Between 2006 and 2008, the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow was added to the back of the synagogue on the initiative of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Translation: Summa Linguae

Date: 2016-02-19 Show ticket
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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