The synagogue, inaugurated in 1913, was designed by the Berlin-based architect Richard Scheibner. A mix of Byzantine and Art Nouveau styles and modern concrete dome construction, it represents a trend towards minimizing exterior decoration while preserving monumental classical forms. The sanctuary is a large hall, which has for many years been used as an art gallery. Some original fragments of the interior are preserved. These include the stained-glass windows, blue dome decoration and the chandelier. In the rear part of the building, a small prayer hall served the local Jewish community. The Jewish Community of Trenčín is currently undertaking an ambitious project to restore the synagogue thanks to public funding, predominantly from EEA Grants provided by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to preserve important heritage sites in our region of Europe. The synagogue will have a permanent exhibition of Jewish heritage and will be used as a venue for cultural purposes, while maintaining its original function as a house of Jewish worship. The synagogue will be one of the cultural venues of Trenčín during its year as a European Capital of Culture for 2026.
The Jewish community in this former county seat was founded by immigrants from Moravia. They established their communal presence outside the walls, in a neighborhood that is now fully merged with the old town center. The Jewish community grew from 81 in 1727 to 989 in 1869, when the Jews represented one quarter of the total city population. After the Pest Congress of 1868-1869, which formally split Hungarian Jewry, the Jews in Trenčín opted for a Status Quo Ante community orientation. There were 1,619 Jewish residents in the city in 1940, but only 326 Jews survived the Holocaust. The small but active Jewish community was reestablished here several years ago, and has 50 members; it also maintains a former school building next to the synagogue and a cemetery, located on Partizánska Street.