The Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor

The Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor is a small public institution, which main mission is to study and, in particular, to present the heritage and history of local Jewry and its significance within the broader Central European realm. Our main tasks include collecting, protecting and studying of Jewish cultural heritage, the preparation and publication of materials pertaining to the history of Jewry in Slovenia and Central Europe, as well as the dissemination and exchange of information and materials with other similar centres and organisations home and abroad. The CJCH Synagogue Maribor encompass the organisation of cultural events, exhibitions, meetings, colloquia, symposia and other resembling endeavours. Among our primary activities are also the study of the Holocaust history, and research into anti-Semitism, Jewish identity and thereto related issues. The CJCH Synagogue Maribor is currently the only public institution of its kind in Slovenia.

Address

The Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor
Židovska ulica 4
2000 Maribor
Slovenia

Get in touch

www.sinagogamaribor.si
The CJCH Synagogue Maribor was established by the Municipality of Maribor only in 2010. Nevertheless, its history can be traced back to April 2001, when the centre began operating as a new cultural venue spot under the management of the Regional Museum of Maribor. In the first years of existence, the activities of the centre comprised organisation of various cultural events and promotion of the centre as a place of cultural gathering and interaction. Gradually, the programmes of the centre began focusing on presenting Jewish cultural heritage, legacy and fate in different periods in the local and broader area, what consequently enabled the establishment of an independent public institution. The Center is housed in one of the oldest preserved medieval synagogues in Central Europe. The former synagogue was probably built in the 14th century, although the oldest known mention of it is from 1429. Maribor’s synagogue is a simple rectangular, predominantly stone building. The south side, which is supported by three gothic stepped buttresses, was built in the former city walls. Initially it was probably covered with a flat wooden roof while it was arched in the first quarter of the 15th century. In the second quarter of the 15th century, the synagogue sometimes served as the temporary seat of the high Rabbinate for lands Styria, Carinthia and Carniola. After the exile of Jews from the town in 1496/97, the synagogue was used firstly as a Catholic church, and later as a warehouse and for housing. Today it is restored and serves as a public cultural centre.
Former ritual area that is today used as exhibition hall
The CJCH Synagogue Maribor is neither a museum nor a gallery in the traditional sense, as it does not possess a permanent collection of Judaica yet. On the other hand, its core exhibition is in fact the building of the former synagogue, in which numerous art, documentation and museum exhibitions, as well as cultural events are organised. With such programmes, we promote awareness on cultural heterogeneity and strive to revive the former synagogue with its historical tradition as a place of intercultural and interreligious dialogue. We endeavour to raise public awareness of several hundred years of Jewish presence in the Slovenian lands and to familiarise and educate visitors with essential aspects of Judaism. Correspondingly, our centre overtakes more and more the role of a pan-Slovenian museum, documentation and study centre for Jewish history, culture and heritage.

From the collection

Two fragment of medieval Jewish gravestones that were found near the synagogue