26.4.12

The "Grande Synagogue"







There are some 20-25 synagogues in Paris. This one is referred to as the “Grande Synagogue”. It dates from 1874 and was built on a place where previously stood a mansion for some time occupied by one of Napoleon’s brothers, Louis, married to Hortense, the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, parents to the future Napoleon III.

(Josephine had previously rented another mansion in the same street and this is where the then General Bonaparte went to see her, got married, bought the house and where they lived together for some four years 1796-1800 – with exceptions for long campaigns in Italy, Egypt… . When Bonaparte became First Consul, the couple moved to greater premises. When they lived here it was almost countryside. The building and the narrow entrance / garden disappeared in 1858, as part of the town-planning. The street got its name, rue de la Victoire, in 1797, when General Bonaparte returned from his Italian campaign.)

But, this post was supposed to be about the “Grande Synagogue”, the largest one in France; it can seat some 1800 people. It was built with financial support of the Rothschild family. It serves as a setting for all kinds of official ceremonies and it’s also the official seat of the Chief Rabbi of France and this is where he is formally introduced.

It was during Napoleon’s reign that the Judaism, together with Roman Catholicism and Lutheran and Calvinist Protestantism, became official religions of France, until 1905, when State and Churches were separated.

The building, which as most other major religious edifices in Paris is owned by the City, suffered of course, although not as much as its community, from events during WWII and was completely renovated as late as 1967.

As we can see, the decoration of the Synagogue is beautiful, but, different to many other religions, of course no images, symbols can be seen. As I have understood, what is important are the Torah, the prayer….  




23 comments:

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

20-25 synagogues in Paris... et moi qui ne connais que celle de la rue des Rosiers !

helen tilston said...

Thank you for this informative piece of history and this beautiful synagogue, stunning images
Helen xx

martinealison said...

Une très jolie publication qui m'a appris certaines choses que je ne connaissais pas...
Vos photos sont très belles.
gros bisous

ParisMaddy said...

Fabulous photos and history.

ALAIN said...

Je ne savais pas que les synagogues étaient ouvertes au public et que l'on pouvait y faire des photos.
Mais c'est vrai que tu es une VIP.

NanouB said...

c'est un très beau reportage d'un endroit dans lequel je ne suis jamais entrée. alors grand merci
bonne journée

Olivier said...

extérieurement elle est pas terrible, mais l’intérieur est magnifique

Synne said...

Absolutely stunning interior!

claude said...

C'est très beau, mais qui pourrait me dire pourquoi tant de luxe dans les lieux de culte.

Delphinium said...

A force de fréquenter les églises et les synagogues, tu vas finir en homme de Dieu. Fais attention. ;-)

Delphinium said...

1800 personnes? c'est pas aussi grand que Bercy!

arabesque said...

i believe i;ve never been inside a synagogue and the details always interests me.
nice of you to show us around and give us a glimpse of its interior,
but i know that they're not that inviting when it comes to taking fotos.

Studio at the Farm said...

Hah - I have never seen the inside of a synagogue. Thank you, Peter. And as always, your post is fascinating, with excellent photos.

Anonymous said...

¡Un artículo fantastico!

¡Unas fotos maravillosas!

Me encantó ver la pequeña maison de la rue Chantereine, luego llamada la maison de Brumaire.

¡Mil gracias Peter!

Maria

Starman said...

I've been reading that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Paris.

lasiate said...

as-tu mis ta kippa? Une belle visite originale

Cergie said...

En effet cet édifice semble très vaste. Son fronton me rappelle une petite synagogue à Berlin, très émouvante en souvenir de l'Histoire...

Cezar and Léia said...

Beautiful and impressive pictures from inside this synagogue!
Happy weekend
Léia

Shammickite said...

What a beautiful building... and so huge! It has always amazed me that religion can inspire such beautiful and complex architecture. And often the people who design, build and revere such buildings live in comparative poverty.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Absolutely gorgeous the interior of the “Grande Synagogue”!
Thanks for sharing this great post, Peter. I have never seen the inside of a synagogue.

Have a pleasant weekend.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Yesterday David Downie showed me the hidden synagogue (in plain view) at Place du Voges...I never noticed it before but I have trouble raising my syes above shop level in general...
merci carolg

Ruby said...

Beautiful interiors of the synagogue!!

MadAboutParis said...

Bon soir Peter...I just posted this link on Gary Lee Kraut's FB! I thought that there was more commentary when I saw it before...is something missing? It ends rather abruptly and I know that's not your style!