Die Neue Synagoge
Die neue Synagoge (The New Synagogue)
Oranienburger Straße 30, Mitte;
1859-66 by Eduard Knoblauch and Friedrich August Stüler, under restoration since 1988
The new synagogue emerged during a period of rapid expansion of Berlin's Jewish population. The size and of the synagogue and its prominent dome, which dominated the new skyline, werealso an expression of the growing self-confidence of the Jewish community in Berlin. Two important architects, Eduard Knoblauch, and the king's architect Friedrich August Stüler, who succeeded Knoblauch after his illness and death, achieved in this structure an artistic and a technical masterpiece. The magnificent building was built in multicolored brickwork, with its interior painted extravagantly and illuminated by stained-glass windows and glass cupolas. While "Moorish" style dominates, other elements of style are integrated as well. The objective was to create an oriental impression was to be created and direct attention to the roots of Judaism, with the Alhambra in Granada serving as a model. This Moorish style was in general fashion in the nineteenth century and was implemented in other construction as well. The architects used modern iron constructions; the slender supports of painted iron and the modern dome construction were developed by the well-known engineer Schwedler. Originally, the domed structure fronting the street served as a vestibule opening to an outer synagogue, with the large hall of the main synagogue situated at the rear of the property. During the pogroms of 1938, the building sustained only minor damage, saved from destruction by a police captain who knew the difference between right and wrong. Large sections of the structure were destroyed during air raids in 1943. The ruin of the synagogue's main room was torn down in 1958. Reconstruction of those sections of the building which faced the street began in 1988. Original components of the structure were preserved, and the sections destroyed were restored carefully to their original splendor. Since 1995, the structure houses exhibitions, meetings and archives of the Jewish community.