Jewish Vienna, Vienna
I have always been interested in one question; which is why most synagogue in central Europe has been built in such a way that are compressed between two neighboring buildings and commonly are located in come narrow alley so that taking pictures of the temple in total is almost a mission impossible. I only recently learned of the Edict issued by Emperor Joseph II, according to which only Roman Catholic places of worship were allowed to be built with facade fronting directly on to public streets.
The Stadttempel, also known as Seitenstettengasse Tempel, is the main synagogue of Vienna and was built in the years 1825-26 by Josef Kornhausel. Kornhausel was the prominent architect of the Vienna Biedermeir era and he designed both exteriors and interior religious objects. In accordance with that emperor's edict, the synagogue was fitted into a block of houses and hidden from plain view of the street.
Ironically but true, emperor's edict saved the Stadttempel from total destruction during the "Kristallnacht" in November 1938. In that night of horror and madness, 93 Jewish synagogues and temples, just in Vienna, have been completely destroyed.
Only guided tours of the Stadttempel are permitted, Monday to Thursday at 11:30am and 2pm. Participation levels are restricted to maximum 30 persons.
My first time to Austria and almost not time to visit
every beautiful corner of Viena. Nice buildings, elegant people, aromatic coffee ( an aromatic beverage unknow to americans). Lucky enough to count on a friend-colleague who would take me around speedily just to get a flavor of the city.
-Where do you want to go?
-to the Jewish Section of the Vienna Cemetery...
These are a series of pictures, I hope wont be ofenssive to anybody, of what I see and a series of comments of what I think of it.
I was tented to write as a sub-title: abandonment. But it is untrue, to abandon implies a will. You decide to quit, to abandon, to leave without careﾉ I am not a religious person, still I think I care for my ancestors and whenever I have a chance I will visit their graves and will leave flowers. Those stones are, for me, no more than a memorial to someone who was important to me.
I would like to know if the cemetary looks like it did 10 years ago when I was there to find my grandmothers grave. She was buried six months after Hitler marched into Vienna in the First Gate. (the Jewish section at the 4th gate didn't exist in the 30's) When I saw the cemetary the Jewish section was totally vandalized. I had all the information as to the Section, Row, Grave # but the grave simply was missing as was the entire family crypt. I went back three times and spent a lot of money trying to get information. I found a 20 foot high pile of grave stones. I was literally stepping over open graves and tearing off vines to be able to read the names on the headstones, some of which were six feet high. Meanwhile the sections other than the Jewish ones were perfectly groomed and very well kept. I was wondering if this was the case the last time you were there. Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.
It is a pity my 16 pictues can not convey all desolation I
felt about beng in the jewish section of the General Cemetery of Vienna.
New tombs are vandalized and old tombs are abandoned. The latter I understand, who was left to take care of those graves?
I would like to take there every single person of the human race and let's them to decide by themselves...
We keep re-enacting Holocaust day after day...It is not matter of numbers. One life is so dear...
When walking around the city, suddenly I saw a roadblock and police, oh well, I guess something interesting must be here as it worth guarding it, well, no, it was not the Emperor palace and not any museum exhibit expensive items, not even the US embassy, it was just the local Jewish community house. More then 60 years after the holocaust and the Jewish community is not safe and needed to be protected in cities around Europe, I think it is shame.
Taborstrasse is the less explored part of Vienna. Taborstrasse is in the 2nd Viennese district called Leopoldstadt, across the Donau canal from Schwedenplatz. The 2nd district is also locally well-known as the Jewish quarters.
There are interesting cafes, local groceries, streets and lanes, plus unique and pretty architecture and buildings to see, as well as local and bargain shops to browse. There are several good restaurant within this area to try and explore. There is also a church in a nice square as well as a lovely local market.
The Augarten porcelain factory is located in this Leopoldstadt district, within the Palais Augarten. The Augarten porcelain is world-famous for its finest and delicate hand-painted porcelain. The Palais Augarten is also especially well-known as the home and rehearsal space of the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir, who also have their own school there.
You can get there by using the underground metro U2 Taborstrasse station. You can also take the tram N from Schwedenplatz (U4/U1) station. Or you can walk there by crossing the Donau Canal bridge from Schwedenplatz area.
This is a really old part of Vienna where you will find a monument to the victims of the Holocaust which also houses the remains of a 14th century synagogue. A monument of Lessing is in the square as well as the old town hall and nearby are some nice bars and restaurants.
Away from the busy section of the 1st District you'll find Judenplatz...there are few European cities whose history is as closely connected with Jewish history as Vienna. We all know what happened in the 1930's and 1940's (so no need to discuss that here), but coming to terms with the largest crimes in the history of Vienna and Austria is a process that has lasted decades and is still not finished. Since the 1980's, the City of Vienna has made increased efforts to show the history and Jewish heritage in all its complexity. You can visit the Jewish Museum (at Palais Eskeles in Dorotheergasse), the Museum at Judenplatz (with the underground remains of a medieval synagogue), the Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz and the Memorial against War and Fascism at Albertinaplatz.
Perhaps not really off the beaten track because it is in the centre of Vienna, but it is one of the places you perhaps walk past without paying too much attention.
And it does merit attention. Partiularly the detail of the old man wrapped in Barbed wire scrubbing the floor.
So do stop and view the monument, and reflect....