Leopoldstädter Tempel

The Leopoldstädter Tempel
Inside view of the Leopoldstädter Tempel. Aquarelle by Emil Ranzenhofer

The Leopoldstädter Tempel was the largest synagogue of Vienna, in the district (Bezirk) of Leopoldstadt. It was also known as the Israelitische Bethaus in der Wiener Vorstadt Leopoldstadt. It was built in 1858 in a Moorish Revival style by the architect Ludwig Förster. The tripartite facade of the Leopoldstädter, with its tall central section flanked by lower wings on each side, became the model for numerous Moorish Revival synagogues, including the Zagreb Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue in Prague, the Tempel Synagogue in Kraków, the Grand Synagogue of Edirne and Templul Coral in Bucharest.

This temple was destroyed during the Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938. A memorial plaque on the site reads in German (and Hebrew):

"Hier befand sich der Leopoldstädter Tempel, der im Jahre 1858 nach Plänen von Architekt Leopold Förster im maurischen Stil errichtet und am 10. November 1938 in der sogenannten "Reichskristallnacht" von den nationalsozialistischen Barbaren bis auf die Grundmauern zerstört wurde."
Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien
(Here stood the Leopoldstädter Temple, built in 1858 in the Moorish style according to the plans of architect Leopold Förster, all but the foundation of which was completely destroyed by National Socialist barbarians on the so-called "Night of Broken Glass" on 10 November 1938).

Synagogues influenced by the Leopoldstädter Tempel

The Leopoldstädter Tempel, painted by Rudolf von Alt

The Tempel, which housed a prestigious congregation in the capital of the Empire, inspired the construction of several other synagogues in the Moorish Revival style. Some are designed similarly to Forster's building, with a flat facade and roof, tripartite massing with a large central block, symmetrical decorative minarets, and internal basilica plan with balconies.

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See also


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Coordinates: 48°12′50″N 16°23′06″E / 48.21389°N 16.38500°E / 48.21389; 16.38500

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