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Vidin Synagogue

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HISTORY

Built in 1894 in neo-Gothic style, Vidin was the second largest synagogue in Bulgaria, a testament to the wealth and pride of the local community that flourished for more than five centuries after the arrival of Spain in the 15th century. The synagogue contained a narthex, prayer hall. And the lofts are all decorated with a combination of classic architectural forms and ancient Jewish decorative symbols, illuminated by stained glass. Today, the Vidin Synagogue, with its four towers, is a ruin, homeless and abandoned.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

Exposed to the elements for more than a decade, the synagogue is now a ruin. Complete photographic documentation of the synagogue and its interiors, occurred before the restoration attempt and could be used as the basis for a new restoration program. The Bulgarian national Jewish organization, which now owns the site, wants to see the restored building as a concert hall for community use and also as a monument to its ancestors. Before or after that, it remains a magnificent place for a wedding to stay forever in memory.

CURIOSITIES

Seized by the communist government in the wake of World War II, the synagogue was later appropriated by the state. During the 1970s, the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Monuments developed a plan to restore the building. The work began in 1983 and continued until 1989, when the collapse of the communist regime led to the abandonment of the project, as did the workers, who had removed the roof.

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