Two more synagogue buildings in Hungary undergo renovations

Former synagogues in the towns of Eger and Zalaegerszeg are the latest synagogue buildings in Hungary to undergo restoration and repair.

Major renovation work at the former “New” Orthodox synagogue in Eger (in a renowned wine region of northeastern Hungary), is currently under way; while renovations at the former Neolog synagogue in Zalaegerszeg (western Hungary), were completed last December.

Today, both synagogues are used for cultural purposes. In Eger, the former synagogue is now used as a cultural center and art gallery, and after the renovation work it aims to expand its activities. In Zalaegerszeg the former synagogue has been used as the city’s concert hall since the 1980s; it also has a permanent exhibit on local Jewish history.

In Eger, work on the synagogue started in December 2020 and should be completed by this summer. The synagogue is one of two that still survive in Eger. The so-called “Old Orthodox” Synagogue, a neoclassical building dating from the early 19th century and designed by the architect Károly Rábel, still stands and since 2007 has also served as an art center.

Renovation of the former synagogue in Zalaegerszeg was funded by a 33 million-forint grant (around €91.500) from the Hungarian Government’s Settlement Development Program.

The imposing, twin-towered structure was built in 1903-1904 and designed in an eclectic, neo-Romanesque style by József Stern; since 1983 it has hosted the city’s concert hall and exhibition center.

The renovation work completed in December represented a repair and upgrade of its infrastructure: replacement of the parquet flooring, the installation of new lighting technology, the renovation of the changing rooms, and the partial implementation of an accessibility system. In addition, the internal walls of the concert hall were repainted; while in a second phase, the heating system will be replaced.

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