Upper Town Synagogue

1st January 1970
Holocaust Synagogue

The former main Osijek synagogue in the city centre, robbed and set on fire in April 1941. Its remnants were completely removed in 1953 and a residential building was constructed there. There is only a memorial plaque in this place now.

The synagogue was designed by Theodor Stern and built by Josip (Joseph) Obersohn in 1869. It was a combination of Rundbogen style with neo-Romanesque and neo-Moorish elements. Chief Rabbi of Osijek, Samuel Spitzer, started collecting the funds for its construction short after his arrival in 1856. This synagogue was a significant architectural achievement of the time, which changed the look of Osijek Upper Town and showed that this community strongly integrated into the life of the city. Its street facade with two ground-floor parts connected to neighbouring houses made it a version of the promenade synagogue (usually withdrawn from the street). It was a massive building, richly decorated, with lotus-shaped domes which made it the tallest building in the town. The outside facade was made of brick walls and mortar. The rosettes and the frame of the main entrance were in terracotta. There were two separate women’s galleries, one above the other, held by iron pillars and richly decorated with whitewash arches. The entrance to the galleries was by a wooden staircase. The stairs on the outside were made of stone. The windows were coloured, with lead frame. The interior was in the neo-Moorish style, with the gold-plated ornament, and the floor mosaic was marble terazzo. It was robbed and set on fire on April 13, 1941 and its ruins were removed in 1953. A residential building now stands in this place. The Jewish Community of Osijek elaborated the 3 D model of this synagogue. Image credig: https://project.zo-osijek.hr/project/upper_town_synagogue/;
Famous figures who have visited this site include: Branko Lustig, Oscar-winning film producer of 'Schindler's list' and 'Gladiator; Oscar Nemon, world-faamous sculptor of W. Churchill and British Royals (born as Oskar Neumann and grew up in Osijek)
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