The Tempel Synagogue is a synagogue in Kraków, Poland, in the Kazimierz district. Tempel Synagogue is not only a major place of worship, but also a booming center of Jewish culture, which hosts numerous concerts and meetings, especially during the Festival.
The main room is spacious and airy, with a high ceiling and inner balconies that are matched in golden floral decor. The Tempel Synagogue is adorned with beautiful mosaic work of gold foliage, pale blues and burgundy. The bimah sits in the middle of the main hall, along with a white marble and golden-crowned Aron Kodesh that is detailed with houses resembling Polish folk art, as opposed to the Moorish designs found in the rest of the building. During World War II, the Nazis stored ammunition in the synagogue, which had many elements destroyed during that period. However, soon after the war, Tempel was reopened for prayers and in 1947 the synagogue saw the addition of a mikvah.
The synagogue was used for prayer until 1985 and in the 90s it saw a massive renovation that brought it to the state it is in today. As one of the active synagogues in Kazimierz, the Tempel Synagogue hosts many celebrations and festivities throughout the year but does not host regular prayer sessions. For this, community members head to the Remuh Synagogue. Nonetheless, a visit to this beautiful worship space is highly recommended.
Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons