Trnava – Status Quo Synagogue

Trnava was an important center of Jewish life in the Middle Ages, home to Rabbi Isaac Tyrnau, a leading Jewish scholar in the region. In the wake of a blood libel in 1539, the Jews were expelled from Trnava and for centuries could not even transit the city. Only in 1717, thanks to Simon Michael, a negotiator for the Jewish community in Bratislava, was an agreement reached with the Municipality of Trnava that allowed Jews pass through the city for a fixed transit fee. Trnava reopened for Jewish settlement in the second half of the nineteenth century and by 1930 had 2,728 Jewish residents. There were two organized Jewish communities, Orthodox and Status Quo community. Most Trnava Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and there is no active Jewish community there today. The synagogue built in 1897 for the Status Quo Jewish community was designed by Jakob Gartner (1861-1921), a prolific Vienna-based architect who specialized in synagogues. Located in the center of town, the red-brick building has a twin-towered façade that faces the street. The three-nave sanctuary has a women’s gallery supported by cast iron columns. The synagogue was partially restored in the 1990s – the restorers chose to leave signs of the devastation the synagogue suffered before and after World War II. Today the building is used as the Center for Contemporary Art of Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava. It also houses a Judaica exhibition in the women’s gallery. A Holocaust memorial designed by the architect Artur Szalatnai-Slatinský (1891-1961) stands in front of the entrance. (The smaller Orthodox synagogue stands behind a wall across the street.)

Location: Trnava, Halenárska 2
Building use: Culture, education and tourism
Tuesday–Friday 9:00-17:00, Saturday–Sunday 13:00-18:00
Tuesday–Friday 10:00-18:00, Saturday–Sunday 13:00-18:00
Entrance fee: yes
Cultural route plaque identification: yes

Mailing address: Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Zelený kríček 3, 917 01 Trnava
Contact person: Ms. Zuzana Dohnalová
Phone: +421 33 5511 659