Malacky, Synagogue

This synagogue is one of the most beautiful in Slovakia, a stunning monument to the Jewish community of Malacky. Designed by the Vienna-based architect Wilhelm Stiassny (1842-1910), it was built in 1900 on the site of a synagogue from 1886. Also designed by Stiassny, the original building was devasted by fire in 1889. A fine example of Moorish style architecture, its two towers, horseshoe arches, and typical red and yellow striping make the synagogue one of the most elaborate buildings in town. The former synagogue belongs today to the municipality and is used as an art school. Its large, open interior was altered by splitting it into stories, though many original features were preserved. The ground floor, used as an art workshop, contains the cast-iron support columns of the women’s gallery as well as the original ark. The upper floor serves as a concert hall with a stage that incorporates the ornate upper section of the ark, under an exceptionally striking original wooden cassette ceiling.

Jews settled in Malacky in the mid eighteenth century, and their number reached a peak in 1880, when the town had 397 Jewish residents. After the Pest Congress of 1868-1869, which formally split Hungarian Jewry, the Jews in Malacky opted for an independent Status Quo Ante community orientation. Acting as a seat of the rabbinate for 17 villages in the area, the Malacky Jewish community maintained a full range of religious institutions: synagogue, shechita (ritual slaughter), mikvah (ritual bath), school and cemetery. The community had about 300 people before the Holocaust, but most of them were deported in 1942 to Nazi extermination camps. About 50 Jews lived in Malacky in 1948; the majority of them emigrated to Israel, but a small Jewish community was sustained until the 1960s. There is no Jewish life in Malacky today. The devastated Jewish cemetery is located in the southern part of town.


Na brehu 2