Old Synagogue, currently a TVP editorial office, Opole
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Old Synagogue, currently a TVP editorial office

Opole

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The old synagogue represents the historicist style in the nineteenth-century synagogue architecture. For a half century, it served the Jewish community, and for the next half-century it housed a printing company well known in Silesia.

History

The synagogue was built in the then Hospitalstrasse in 1841; by that time, the services were held at private houses as well as in the room that belonged to the Order of Friars Minor, under the chairmanship of the commune's elders. The first Rabbi was employed by the Opole commune in 1847, five years after the consecration of the synagogue by rabbi of Wrocław Abraham Geiger. The ground floor housed a school and municipal administration, and a prayer room was on the first floor. In 1893, the building was extended to the south-west by adding two avant-corps designed by Felix Henry, an architect from Wrocław. The building was no longer able to meet the needs of the growing community; therefore, the construction of the New Synagogue according to a design by the aforementioned Felix Henry began in Hafenstrasse (now Piastowska Street) in 1895. Enormous investment costs forced the commune to sell the synagogue in Szpitalna Street and thus it became the property of a private owner in January 1897. The last service in the Old Synagogue, combined with the solemn transfer of scrolls of the Torah and liturgical equipment to the new synagogue, took place on 21 June 1897. The new owners, the Raabe family well known in Silesia and engaged in providing printing services, used the building of the former synagogue as a lithographic establishment: on the ground floor there were printing machines, and the first floor was adapted for use as a book bindery, typesetting room, and storage room. At the Museum of Opole Silesia, there is a lithographic stone from around 1920, among others, with the depiction of the former synagogue, the only preserved item of the company's equipment. After World War 2, the building was used as offices of the Polish Workers' Party, then as a bookstore and a warehouse. In 1970-1972, the interior was significantly altered, among others, by installing a conveyor. Currently, it is used as the seat of the TVP Opole editorial office.

Description

The synagogue is located in an area densely built-up with tenement houses, close to Młynówka. It is a masonry building erected on a rectangular floor plan with two avant-corps, consists of two storeys and is covered with a gable roof. The plastered façades are maintained in the round-arch style, formerly with small cupolas surmounting the gables. Fragments of window stained glass have been preserved to this day. The interior features a significantly altered functional and spatial layout.

Viewing of the interior of the building is possible only with the consent of the user.

compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 01-01-2015.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet, Budynek magazynowy, d. synagoga, prepared by Z. Łabęcki, 1986, Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole
  • Bergman E., Jagielski J., Zachowane synagogi i domy modlitwy w Polsce. Katalog, Warsaw 1996
  • Borkowski M., Gmina żydowska w Opolu w latach 1812-1944, Opole 2009.
  • Steinert A., Geschichte der Juden In Oppeln, Oppeln 1922

General information

  • Type: synagogue
  • Chronology: 1841
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Szpitalna 1, Opole
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district Opole, commune Opole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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