current use
exhibition hall
Hurbanova 11, Žilina
Peter Behrens
Bratia Novákovci, Žigo Wertheimer
1929 – 1931

The synagogue is the most remarkable monument of the European modernist movement in Slovakia. It is situated on an irregular and sloping corner lot, yet its composition is symmetrical. Transitional parts of the building are sensitively designed with terraces and staircases. The central space was designed for 450 men and a choir for 300 women. The main hall is overarched with a dome having a diameter of 16 meters and a height of 17.6 meters. The building expression is defined by a sturdy main volume divided by clusters of narrow windows with beveled window sills. Horizontal low-rise parts of the front and rear entrance and the side facade gave the building a dignified and serious character. This is further enhanced by the hemispherical vaulting. The building belongs amongst the few Slovak synagogues which dealt with the traditional building type by means of modern functionalist architecture, although the material (stone) and the composition (symmetry) draw from historic architecture. Behrens' bid won the competition attended among others by J. Hoffmann and the local, M. M. Scheer. The original interior has been rebuilt and the building served as a movie theatre.

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