Erfurt Synagogue

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Erfurt Synagogue
Alte Synagoge Erfurt.JPG
Basic information
Location Waagegasse 8, Erfurt, Germany
Geographic coordinates 50°58′43.06″N 11°1′45.43″E / 50.9786278°N 11.0292861°E / 50.9786278; 11.0292861
Affiliation Judaism
Rite Nusach Ashkenaz
Status Museum
Website Old Synagogue, Erfurt
Architectural description
Architectural type Synagogue
Architectural style Romanesque
Completed 1094

The Alte Synagoge (Old Synagogue) in Erfurt, Germany, was built c. 1100. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building intact to its roof still standing in Europe.[1] It is used as a museum and permanently houses the Erfurt Treasure, a hoard of coins, goldsmiths' work and jewellery that is thought to have belonged to Jews who hid them at the time of the Black Death pogroms in 1349. The pieces were found in 1998 in the wall of a house in a medieval Jewish neighbourhood in Erfurt.

History of the building[edit]

The oldest parts of the building date from the 11th century and the medieval building is preserved to a remarkable degree, including the roof.[2] The building was used for purposes other than worship for many years.

In 2015 the Old Synagogue was nominated as a World Heritage Site. It has been tentatively listed but a final decision has not yet been made.[3]

Other synagogues in Erfurt[edit]

The Kleine Synagoge (Small Synagogue) was built in 1840 and was used until 1884. It was restored in 1998 and is an events venue.[4] The building features a classically influenced façade and interior.

In 1884 the community constructed the Große Synagoge (Great Synagogue ), a magnificent moorish revival building. It was destroyed in the Nazi Kristallnacht riots on the night of the 9th - 10th November 1938.[5]

In 1947 the site of Great Synagogue, which had been confiscated by the Nazis, was returned to the Jewish community by Erfurt City Council. The Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), which was built on the site, opened on 31st August 1952.[6] The New Synagogue was firebombed by a neo-Nazi group in April, 2000.[7]

It is the New Synagogue which is used for worship by the present day Jewish community in Erfurt.


The restoration of the Old Synagogue was completed in October 2009 and it then became a museum. The permanent exhibition includes the Erfurt Treasure.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Deutsche Welle (24th April 2007). Archeologists discover medieval Jewish bath in Erfurt. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  2. ^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. Old synagogue. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  3. ^ Old synagogue and Mikveh in Erfurt - UNESCO world heritage centre. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  4. ^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. Small synagogue. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  5. ^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. Great synagogue. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  6. ^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. New synagogue. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2016).
  7. ^ Gowan, Lee (2002), The Radical Right in Germany: 1870 to the Present, London: Longman, p. 199. ISBN 0582291933