Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne

Friday, 21 April 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Interior © Horsch, Willy/cc-by-3.0

Interior © Horsch, Willy/cc-by-3.0

Roonstrasse Synagogue, located in Cologne, Germany, is the only surviving of the five synagogues of the city before the Nazi era. On August 19, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI visited Roonstrasse Synagogue. This visit was the second ever visit to any synagogue by any one of the Popes. There, he condemned Nazism and antisemitism.

The Jewish community in Cologne has the longest history in Germany, being first mentioned in 321. Expelled in 1424, the Jews did not return to Cologne until 1798. In 1815 the community numbered 150, growing to 8000 in 1895, and 18,281 by 1933, the largest in Germany after Berlin.

© reserv-a-rt.de - Hans Peter Schaefer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Torah Ark © HOWI/cc-by-3.0 © Factumquintus/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Horsch, Willy/cc-by-3.0 Memorial Hall © HOWI/cc-by-3.0 Menora © HOWI/cc-by-3.0
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© reserv-a-rt.de - Hans Peter Schaefer/cc-by-sa-3.0
The foundation stone of the Neo-Romanesque style building, designed by Cologne architects Schreiterer & Below, was laid on October 23, 1895, and the inauguration took place on March 22, 1899. Like all the other synagogues on the city it was attacked and set alight on the night of November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht, the nationwide attacks on Jewish businesses and synagogues. It was further damaged during World War Two, with the front portion was completely destroyed leaving only the burnt out tower and central section. Returned to the surviving Jewish community in 1945, in the late 1950s they decided to completely rebuild, as it was the only one not completely destroyed. The reconstruction was under the direction of the architect Helmut Goldschmidt, with minor changes on the outside and a simplified interior (with new leadlight windows by Lammers & Warzager), and was reopened on September 20, 1959. On Christmas Eve of that year, the Synagogue was smeared with anti-Jewish slogans by members of the far-right Deutsche Reichspartei. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who had been mayor of Cologne from 1917 until removed by the Nazi government in 1933, made the desecration the subject in his New Year’s speech. Since then it has been center of Jewish community of Cologne, and consists of a community center, a small display of items associated with Cologne Jewry, and a kosher restaurant. The interior of the reconstructed synagogue has a vast blue dome.

Read more on Jewish community of Cologne and Wikipedia Roonstrasse Synagogue (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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