After the Armenian Quarter and Dorobanti and Cotroceni, it’s time for another historical area of Bucharest to be the subject of a blog post: The Jewish Quarter or, more accurately, what is left of the former Jewish Quarter.
First, let’s go through some facts regarding the history and life of the Romanian Jewish population:
Back in the day the Jewish Quarter had two parts. The one inhabited by the poor part was a compact area with big families cramped into small houses with living conditions far from ideal but the community was very close like one big family.
The social life in this part of Bucharest was colorful and vivid especially in the evenings, when the streets were filled with the young and the old altogether sharing a moment of joy after a full hard days work.
The situation was different at the rich end of the Jewish community were one could find houses with big gardens, beautiful architecture and a more sober atmosphere.
Unfortunately the Jewish Quarter was one of the two neighborhoods that suffered massively from the 1980s Bucharest demolitions. While Uranus neighborhood was simply wiped out to make room for the House of People and the Civic Center, the Jewish Quarter still has a few buildings and houses that remind us of what used to be Bucharest’s most vibrant part.
It is the most beautiful temple in the city and, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful in the world. Built between 1864 and 1866, it was set on fire in 1867 by the nationalists, only to be renovated in 1877 when the interior was entirely hand painted in Moorish Byzantine style, style that was kept throughout the ages. The name, Coral, comes from the fact that the temple does have a coir and the sermon sounds a lot like an opera concert. If you want a personal input: the temple is a work of art and a must see for everyone visiting Bucharest.
The address is Sfanta Vineri Str. and the opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 15:00, Friday it’s from 9:00 to 13:00, Saturday is closed and Sunday it’s from 9:00 to 13:00. Entrance fee is 10 lei and you have a guided tour of the Temple.
Also known as the Polish Synagogue as it was built by the Polish Jews community in 1845. The Great Synagogue is a survivor of the 1980s demolitions but it was surrounded by huge apartment buildings that appeared on the place of the former Jewish Quarter. Besides being a functional synagogue, it also hosts the Holocaust Museum. Address: Vasile Adamache no.11. Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 15:00 and Friday and Sunday from 9:00 to 13:00.
The Jewish Theatre and The Museum of Jewish History complete the circle but these two are under complete renovations so I couldn’t take pictures or do more research for the moment. To be continued...