Golden Rose Synagogue, Lviv

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Golden Rose Synagogue
Золота Роза синагога у Львові 4.jpg
Basic information
Location Ukraine Lviv, Ukraine
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Status Destroyed in 1941
Architectural description
Architect(s) Paweł Szczęśliwy
Architectural style Renaissance style
Completed 1582

The Golden Rose Synagogue, known also as the Nachmanowicz Synagogue, or the Turei Zahav Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת טורי זהב‎‎) was a synagogue in Lviv, Ukraine. The Golden Rose Synagogue was the oldest synagogue in Ukraine.


A midtown plot of land was bought in 1580, and the synagogue was founded and funded in 1581 by Yitzhak ben Nachman (alias Izak Nachmanowicz), a financier to King Stephan Batory. Therefore, the oldest name of the synagogue was the Nachmanowicz Synagogue.[1]

It was built in 1582 by Paulus Italus ("Paolo the Italian") from Tujetsch (Tschamut) village in canton Graubünden, Switzerland, a master builder known by his guild nickname Paweł Szczęśliwy (Paul the Fortunate, in Polish).[2]

In 1595, the same Paolo, assisted by Ambrogio Nutclauss (alias Ambroży Przychylny), by Adam Pokora, and by master Zachariasz (most probably, Zachariasz Sprawny, alias Zaccaria de Lugano) built a vestibule and a women’s gallery in the synagogue. Men prayed in a hall which was spanned by a cloister rib vault with pointed lunettes above the windows. An alabaster Torah ark in renaissance style was located at the eastern wall. A bimah was located in the middle of the prayer hall. The building was topped by an attic in Mannerist style.[3][4]

In 1606 the building was confiscated by the Jesuits. In 1609, after paying a ransom of 20,600 guilders the synagogue was returned to the Jewish community. A local legend (first published in 1863) ascribed the merit of the restitution of the synagogue to Rosa bat Ya'akov, Yitzhak's daughter-in-law.[5] The synagogue was therefore also called the Golden Rose Synagogue after her. Rabbi Yitzhak ben Shemuel HaLevi composed in 1609 Shir Ge'ula (a Song of Deliverance), – which was read each year as a part of the shacharit prayer on Shabbat following Purim. The Song of Deliverance compared the return of the synagogue to the Jewish community to the salvation of the Jews from the Babylonian and Egyptian captivities.[6]

In 1654-67, rabbi David HaLevi Segal, called TaZ after his main work Sefer Turei Zahav, the younger brother of Yitzhak HaLevi and his pupil, prayed in this synagogue. For that reason the building was also named the TaZ Synagogue.

In 1941, the synagogue was desecrated, and in 1943 ruined by the Nazis.

The plaque which commemorates the TaZ.

There is a plaque which commemorates the Golden Rose Synagogue: "Remnant of the old temple called 'Di Goldene Royz'. Built during 1580-1595 by the Nachmanowicz family in the memory of Nachmanowicz's wife. The building designed by the Italian architect Pablo Romano was destroyed by Nazis and burnt in summer 1942."[7]

The members of the Jewish community of Lviv desire a reconstruction of the synagogue “as it once was”.[citation needed]


The synagogue was designated a World Heritage Site in 1998. The article by Tom Gross published in The Guardian's "comment is free" section on September 2, 2011 under the headline "Goodbye Golden Rose" reported that the authorities in Lviv, contrary to Ukraine's laws designed to preserve historic sites, were allowing a private developer to demolish parts of the adjacent remnants of the synagogue complex in order to build a hotel, which would endanger the mikvah and other Jewish artifacts, as well as possibly the remaining outer walls of the synagogue itself.[8] Lviv officials refuted that information.[9] Reacting to international pressure generated by Gross's article, and by pressure from the Ukrainian president's office in Kiev,[10] the city authorities ordered a halt to the hotel work in order to preserve the Jewish artifacts and to ensure the synagogue's outer walls would not be threatened. The mayor of Lviv also announced the city would proceed with long-delayed plans to build a Holocaust memorial near the Golden Rose synagogue in the former Jewish quarter of Lviv's old town.

In July 2015 the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, in partnership with a coalition that includes the Lviv City Council and the city's Office for Historical Environment Preservation, along with several US-, German- and Israeli-based groups,[11] started work on the Space of Synagogues project. The initiative aims to commemorate the history of the Jewish community in Lviv by creating new memorial and educational spaces in the city, with attention to the sites of destroyed synagogues. Some assert that this project will contribute significantly to the conservation of the remains of the Golden Rose Synagogue.[12] Others, however, believe that the Center caters to the local government, which, in view of its recent support of the plan to build a hotel on the site, has de facto thwarted the restoration of the synagogue.

Adjacent to the site of the synagogue, Ukrainian entrepreneurs run a Jewish-themed restaurant, Under the Golden Rose, which opened in 2008.[13] The restaurant claims to honor the city’s Jewish past. Diners are, for example, offered black hats with artificial sidelocks attached (suggestive of the traditional look of a religious Eastern European Jew); and, concerning the absence of prices from the menu, servers explain that it is Jewish tradition to bargain over the prices. Some local historians and members of the city's small Jewish community, as well as Jewish visitors from abroad, find such an approach kitschy and offensive, and argue that it fosters anti-Semitic stereotypes.[13][14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Majer Bałaban, Dzielnica żydowska, jej dzieje i zabytki [Jewish Quarter, Its History and Monuments] (L’viv, 1909), 39, 60.
  2. ^ Michał Kowalczuk, Cech budowniczy we Lwowie za czasów polskich (do roku 1772) [Builders’ Guild of L’viv in Polish Times (before 1772)], (L’viv, 1927), 27–28.
  3. ^ Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka, Bramy nieba: Bożnice murowane na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej [Gates of Heavens: Masonry Synagogues in the Lands of the Old Commonwealth], (Warsaw, 1999), 151, 154-155.
  4. ^ Sergey R. Kravtsov, “Turei Zahav Synagogue in L’viv,”, 2 (2006), 5–6.[1]
  5. ^ Gabriel Suchystaw, Matzevat kodesh, vol. 1 (L'viv, 1863), not paginated.
  6. ^ Nathan Michael Gelber ed., Lvov, in series: Entsiklopedia shel galuyot [Encyclopedia of Diaspora], vol. 4 (Jerusalem, 1956), 348.
  7. ^ Bartov, Omer (2007). Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780691131214. OCLC 123912559. 
  8. ^ "Goodbye, Golden Rose | Tom Gross | Comment is free". The Guardian. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  9. ^ "Садовий: На території "Золотої Рози" жодне будівництво не ведеться - Новини Львова" (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  10. ^ Design by Maxim Tkachuk; web-architecture by Volkova Dasha; Yuriy Sokolov; templated by Alexey Kovtanets; programming by Irina Batvina; Maxim Bielushkin; Sergey Bogatyrchuk; Borshchanenko Maksym; Vitaliy Galkin; Victor Lushkin; Dmitry Medun; Igor Sitnikov; Vladimir Tarasov; Alexander Filippov; Sergei Koshelev; Yaroslav Ostapiuk; Viktor Voitenko. "Герман сравнила строителей гостиницы на месте львовской синагоги с большевиками, "танцующими на костях" » Новости политики Украины – Корреспондент". Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  11. ^ Francisco, Jason (August 23, 2016). "A New Day for the Golden Rose in L'viv". Jewish Heritage Europe. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  12. ^ "L'viv: Work to begin on "Space of Synagogues" memorial site". Jewish Heritage Europe. July 19, 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-04. 
  13. ^ a b Liphshiz, Cnaan (April 3, 2016). "My queasy night at Lviv's controversial Jewish eatery". JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency). Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  14. ^ "Slideshow: Ukraine's Controversial Theme Restaurants". PRI's The World. Retrieved 2017-04-11.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°50′46″N 24°01′47″E / 49.84611°N 24.02972°E / 49.84611; 24.02972