Košice, Puškinova Street, Orthodox synagogue
The Orthodox synagogue on Puškinova Street is one five extant synagogues in Košice – a silent witness to the rich Jewish past of Slovakia’s second city. Constructed in 1927 for the Orthodox community as a modern urban synagogue with adjoining Jewish school, it is still used by the Jewish Community of Košice as a house of worship, although the school building is no longer owned by the community.
The synagogue was designed by the Košice-based architects Ľudovít Oelschläger and Gejza Zoltán Boskó, and is an example of regional moderate modernism, with decorative neo-Classical monumental elements and application of Jewish iconography. The visible public (eastern) façade of the synagogue, with its grand staircase and triple arched monumental protrusion is only a mock entrance: the actual main entrance, with vestibule, is situated on the western side, away from the street. The interior is a modernist reinforced concrete central domed structure, with a women’s gallery supported by concrete pillars running along three sides of the main sanctuary. The hall recalls the Orthodox affiliation of the community: the bimah stands in the center and the women’s section is fenced with an additional metallic mechitzah atop the railing. The ark is constructed of red marble, while other rich decorative details, such as lamps and stunning stained-glass windows, bear witness to the sophisticated aesthetic requirements of the leading urban Orthodox community of the region.
The Ľudovít Feld Cultural Center operates from the premises of the synagogue. An art gallery presents the works of the Košice-born artist, and others from eastern Slovakia. A small Judaica exhibition on the site may be also visited.