The New Synagogue in Mainz – five letters shape its architecture

The New Synagogue in Mainz is still young, its consecration dating back to just 2010. Nevertheless, the Jewish community of Mainz has been around for much longer: the first written mention dates back to 917. They have experienced a long history of prestige and power, persecution and devastation. So the New Synagogue is more than "just" a house of God.

Mainz is home to one of the oldest and most traditional Jewish communities in Europe. Even back in the Middle Ages, the city was the centre of Jewish teaching and religion. Its influence extended far beyond the Rhineland borders. The Jewish community of Mainz became hugely important due to its Talmudic school, which attracted many famous and influential scholars. It lost its influence during the early modern period as a result of a number of persecutions and devastations. It was only at the end of the 18th century that the Jewish community started to slowly thrive once again. The Kristallnacht pogrom on 9 and 10 November 1938, during which the country's synagogues were torched, meant another major bump in the road for the city.

The New Synagogue in Mainz is full of symbolism and boasts an unconventional architectural style. The word for Jewish prayer, "Kiddush", also means "holiness" in Hebrew. Its five letters from the Hebrew alphabet have lent the synagogue its shape. Fragments of pillars in front of the religious building are evocative of the Main Synagogue, which was destroyed in 1912. They create a visual connection between the past and the present and inspire visitors to pause for a moment and reflect. They act as silent witnesses and unmoving admonishers to promote peaceful coexistence, both now and in the future.

New Synagogue, Mainz

Nearest train station: Mainz

Tours are available only by prior arrangement with the Jewish community.

Due to popular demand, dates must be booked well in advance (website only available in German):

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