The Synagogue of Sofia
The Sofia Synagogue is considered the largest Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) synagogue in Europe. It is the only Jewish house of prayer in Sofia - symbol and pride of the Jewish community in Bulgaria.
Moorish and Venetian styles are combined in its architecture. The altar stands on a platform of white marble, as if on a pedestal, surrounded by an exquisite railing. The famous two-ton brass chandelier is the largest one in Bulgaria. The interior is decorated with numerous works of applied art; the floor is covered with Venetian mosaic, while the façade stands out with fine architectural elements, stone carvings and plastic ornaments. The design of the synagogue has long been valued for its beauty both in the country and abroad.
The Synagogue was ranked among World’s Most Beautiful Temples. However, in the Allied bombing of Sofia in 1944, the building itself was seriously damaged while some of the most precious Jewish manuscripts and editions were destroyed. Some of the other assets survived though – the rare chandelier, the Menorah and others.
The building accommodates the temple, the Central Israelite Spiritual Council and a Historical Museum. The Synagogue, built in 1909, is situated in Sofia downtown, where the old synagogue used to be.