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Cultural Heritage of Slovakia: Synagogue in Levice

Cultural Heritage of Slovakia: Synagogue in Levice
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Pofis post issued a stamp within the series "Cultural Heritage of Slovakia" dedicated to the Synagogue in Levice.

The first Jews in Levice are mentioned only in the beginning of the 18th century, however their earlier presence is presumed. The Jewish residence and settlement were restricted by imperial regulation in order to protect the near mining towns from the influence of the Jewish merchants. Only after 1836 the Jewish population started coming to Levice and they created a Jewish community that was in existence there during the following century.

The Jews built their first synagogue in Levice in 1853, respectively in 1854. The number of the members of the congregation was increasing so in 1883 they decided to build a new, bigger synagogue that is still standing. It was built thanks to the then president of the congregation: physician Dr. Jozef Polya. The author of the synagogue project was Gustav Sisak of Kalnanad Hronom, who also built it. In 1902 the synagogue underwent a reconstruction that was designed and carried out by an architect and builder Rudolf Czibulka from Levice. The synagogue served its purpose until 1944. In June 1944 it became a part of the ghetto during the deportations period. In 1967 the congregation sold the synagogue to the state, and then it served as a furniture warehouse. It was declared a Historic Landmark in 1980. Since 1991, the municipality has owned the synagogue. An extensive reconstruction began in 2010. On March 24, 2011 in the lower part of the face wall (at north-eastern corner), the workers discovered a valuable artefact – the founding charter of the synagogue stored in a pharmaceutical bottle. The charter was placed there during the occasion of the foundation stone laying on April 24, 1883.

During the restoration of the mural painting, the names of painters were revealed on the arch – its authors were the painter Karl Tromsdorff of Levice and the assistant painter Ferdinand Reltscha of Nitra – with finishing date of the decorating works (August 30, 1883). The opening ceremony of the synagogue was held on April 26, 2012, it serves as a place for various cultural events, such as concerts or exhibitions.

 

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