One of the most beautiful Jewish worship places in the world is Choral Temple from Bucharest.
This is the most famous Jewish monument and the largest synagogue in the city.
Its idea came from a local Polish Jew leader who wished an impressive synagogue like in Paris, Berlin or Vienna.
Choral (meaning chorus) Temple is the only surviving replica of Tempelgasse of Vienna that had 1,000 sq m.
In 1938 Nazis destroyed the original temple built by an Austrian architect in the second half of the 19th century.
Five times smaller, Choral Temple is one of the few Romanian synagogues with known architects: Viennese Enderle and Freiwald.
The symbol of Judaism in Romania
Built in the second half of the 19th century, the red-brick building with corner towers has Moorish and Byzantine features.
They ordered its Torah scrolls from Budapest.
Hebrew inscription on the building is identical with the one on Holy Union Temple.
It reads: My home is a home of pray and requests for all religions.
Romanian nationalists almost completely burnt the temple on its inauguration’s eve.
Thus they forced the Government to withdraw from Constitution an Article proposal granting local Jews the Romanian citizenship.
Restored inclusively with a contribution from Prince Carol I of Romania, Choral Temple opened a year later.
It became the symbol of Judaism in Romania.
The earthquake in 1940 damaged it and Iron Guard Legionaries devastated it in 1941.
The great Menora-shaped Holocaust memorial monument in front of the Temple dates from 1991.
After 7 years of restoration, they re-inaugurated it in 2014 on first Hanukkah night (December 16th).
Choral temple has a visually stunning interior, the rich, colorful and lavish decoration increasing its grandeur.
Bucharest’s most important synagogue is Ashkenazi, women praying separated from men.
One of the few active synagogues in the city and in Romania, this still serves daily the Jewish community.
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