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Zamość Renaissance Synagogue
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Built during the early seventeenth century, Zamość Synagogue is one of the few surviving Renaissance synagogues in Poland and is one of the most architecturally significant synagogues in the country. It is located in the Old Town of Zamość, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being one of the most beautiful and enduring examples of Renaissance urban planning in Europe. The synagogue is a seamless addition to the streetscape, contributing to the stylistic homogeneity of the town.
During World War II, Zamość Synagogue was looted and suffered extensive damage. The structure was then used for a variety of non-religious functions, including a carpentry workshop, a warehouse, and a municipal library. The building was returned to the Jewish community in 2005, and the structure was in critical condition when its restoration began in 2009. WMF’s Jewish Heritage Program supported emergency stabilization of the building and crucial foundation repairs. WMF also contributed to the restoration of the synagogue’s northern annex. This project was completed in early 2011.
Zamość Synagogue is now a cultural center and a starting point for a regional tourist trail, the Chassidic Route, which joins together an array of surviving Jewish cultural and religious monuments in Poland. Zamość also serves as a venue for local events and activities, uniting the synagogue with the local community.
Northern women's annex, 2006
Southeast corner before conservation, 2005
Northeast corner with east and north façades of the northern annex visible, 2005
Northeast corner with scaffolding on the north façade of the northern annex, 2010
Conservator applying new plaster to north façade of the northern annex, 2010
View of entry to northeast before conservation, 2008
View of entry to northeast after conservation, 2010
Roof detail, 2011
Vaulted ceiling, 2011