Medieval Old Synagogue

The Jews of Sopron settled in the former Zsidó utca (Jewish Street) that is now Új utca, and around 1300 the synagogue of the community, the Old Synagogue was established.

The building, which bears late Romanesque and Gothic style features, was the synagogue of the Jewish community until their expulsion from Sopron in 1526. The peculiarity of the synagogue behind the street line is that such triple division to a men's synagogue, a women's prayer hall and a ritual bath remained only in Sopron, Prague and Krakow among the medieval synagogues of Europe.

On the street front, two late medieval buildings were built in front of the synagogue, the servant's house on the left and the hospital on the right, where the travelling Jewish merchants could stay. After the exile of the Jews, all three buildings were converted into residential houses. The place of the Old Synagogue was completely forgotten. It was rediscovered by art historian Ferenc Dávid in 1967, and its restoration was based on the plans of János Sedlmayr, born in Sopronhorpács.

Since 1976, the exhibition of the Sopron Museum has been open for those interested. The exhibition consists of three main units:
1) the the men's synagogue (Torah Hall), into which you can enter through a wonderful Gothic main entrance, and where you can see the Aaron's cabin in which the Torah is stored, the reconstructed Torah reading table (bima) and the partially reconstructed Gothic vault,
2) the women’s prayer room, from where women could follow the ceremony through narrow windows. In this part of the building you can see the architectural monuments unearthed during the excavations and the artefacts related to the Jewish faith,
3) the well in the courtyard, which was used as a ritual bath (mikveh).

The Sopron Museum's seasonal exhibitions, such as the Apothecary's House, the Baker's House and the Old Synagogue, are closed from October 16 to April 2024.