Re-opening of the Old Synagogue in 2010

In 2008, following an earlier suggestion by Paul Spiegel, then President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Essen City Council decided to transform the Old Synagogue into a “House of Jewish Culture.” A new permanent exhibition was conceived, and the building refurbished. Two new exhibition levels were made accessible, and the offices moved. In 2010, the year of the European Capital of Culture, the festive inauguration of the redesigned interior was celebrated. 36,000 visitors were registered in the first year. The Old Synagogue organizes lectures, concerts, readings, and monthly political discussions; it also offers workshops for younger and older students on many Jewish topics, as well as guided tours through the interactive permanent exhibition, also for adults. With its new focus on contemporary Judaism, it is unique in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

The interior of the synagogue now shines in a friendly apricot tone and the exhibition architecture is gently embedded in the restored architecture of the building. Photo: Prengel

Timeline Essen

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