Novi Sad has always been famous for its culturally and ethnically diverse society. The distinctive history makes it closer to the Hungarian than to the Ottoman influences of the south. This is directly connected to the presence of the diverse religious architecture and the real cultural salad that the city has become over the years. One of the symbols of the city, and one of the most beautiful buildings in Serbia is the synagogue in Jevrejska (Jewish) St. The 100-year-old synagogue is not regularly in use for practicing the religion, but it serves as a genuine concert venue in Novi Sad. This same address was a home to five different synagogues in the history, where each new one outgrew the old one in the size and the beauty.
...For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations... The Book of Isaiah 56:7
The building of the newest and the biggest fifth synagogue, since the 18th century, was a major project for the Jewish community in Serbia. They hired the Hungarian architect Lipot Baumhorn, famous as a leading synagogue architect in Central Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. Baumhorn was up to the task and has created a masterpiece of sorts, a stunning three-dome building that even 100 years later dominates the city landscape. The Synagogue of Novi Sad has the shape of a triple-nave basilica, imposing in size and evocative in its nature.
The synagogue belongs to the complex of three Jewish heritage buildings - the offices of the Jewish Community and the Jewish School (nowadays a ballet school) The interior is built in the style of liberal synagogues of the late 19th century. The exterior of the building is a combination of different architectural styles, combining the elements of the Orthodox church, Catholic basilica, and Jewish synagogue. High above the main gate, there is still a semicircular inscription: „Ki beti, bet tefila ikara l’kol haamim,” that translates to “...for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations...” taken from the Book of Isaiah 56:7.
Primarily because of its meticulous architecture, the synagogue offers the finest acoustics in the city. The government of Novi Sad has restored the interior and decided to use it as a concert hall for classical and other music performances. The synagogue is still open to the Jewish community to use it around the big religious holidays, but the building’s main purpose is leaning more towards the musical and cultural scene. Monumental interiors and the optimal acoustics shape this 100-year-old synagogue as a perfect place for classical music concerts, choral performances and theatrical exhibits, making it a genuine concert venue in Novi Sad. Attending a concert in the synagogue of Novi Sad grants for a sophisticated night out and an enhanced experience of music.
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