The Old Synagogue

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Synagogue
SITE OVERVIEW
The nicely preserved monument built between 1837 and 1843 was designed by the Lipovszky brothers, Henrik and József. The well-proportioned synagogue is the most beautiful Neoclassic-style building in Szeged. Nonetheless, the famous Art Nouveau architect Lipót Baumhorn redesigned the longer side of the building at the beginning of the 20th century.
GENERAL
The nicely preserved monument built between 1837 and 1843 was designed by the Lipovszky brothers, Henrik and József. The well-proportioned synagogue is the most beautiful Neoclassic-style building in Szeged. Nonetheless, the famous Art Nouveau architect Lipót Baumhorn redesigned the longer side of the building at the beginning of the 20th century. Beside its side entrance are marble plaques with Hungarian and Hebrew inscriptions showing the water level at the time of the Great Flood of 1879. The position of the plaques, not high above the pavement, can be misleading as during the reconstruction of the city a two-meter layer of soil raised the original level of the square. The only local photographer to record the devastating effects of the Great Flood was Israelite Lipót Lauscher (1838–1881; fortunately, his high quality photographs have survived. The local newspaper Szegedi Híradó praised his deeds in the April 2, 1881 issue: “He also belongs to the post victims of the Great Flood, while taking photos of the flood for several days he got such terrible cold that he fell seriously ill from which he has never recovered; his lower limbs became paralyzed and he was between life-and-death until death set him free from his suffering.” Above each side of the main entrance of the synagogue two memorial boards (created by Ármin Tardos-Taussig) from 1924 commemorate the Jewish soldiers who fell in World War I. The Hebrew poems were written by Chief Rabbi Immanuel Löw. The building of the synagogue no longer serves any religious purpose. It is a venue for theatrical performances on occasions such as the THEALTER festival in summer.
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