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Bajai Városi Könyvtár Hírlevél

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Library and Synagogue

The building’s history

The building was started to built in 1842 and was done by 1845 in a late classical style (for which it’s recorded worldwide). It was the biggest synagogue in the mid 19th century. It was built on the place of a smaller chapel which had burned down in the big conflagration – that had also destroyed the biggest part of the city – in 1840.
In the prosperous trading town the number of Jewish people was about 600 in the middle of the 19th century. Most of them were wealthy traders, therefore they asked a well know architect, Lajos Frey from Budapest – he lived in Baja temporarily - for planning the new chapel. The inauguration of the building took place in 1945. It was a significant event in the lives of the Hungarian Jewish community. It was the first time in Hungary when a synagogue was inagouraed by Hungarian speech.
On the street frontage of this outstanding building is written in Hungarian language ’To God alone’. The frontage of the courtyard is made more solemn by the double column foyer. Under the spandrel there’s a Hungarian translation of Hebrew words: ’ This is nothing else but God’s house and this is the gate of heaven’
The inside area is devided to three naves by the former women’s choir on both sides. Above the high middle area there is a beautifully painted vaulted ceiling.At the middle of the wall opposite the entrance stands the Ark. It’s Hebrew inscription says: ’Everlasting will always be placed instead of me’ Over the words there are Moses’s stone tablets appearing from smoke cloud.
Jewish people from Baja and the surrounding area were deported during the second World War in May 1944. Only a few of them returned, the chapel wasn’t used and the ownerless building’s condition was getting worse.
The building was purchased by the city in 1985 and was renovated and remade for the needs of a library. The transformation – due to careful interior design - was successful as the inside area satisfies the needs of a working library while it’s atmosphere remaind the same. The Synagogue’s original ritual objects such as the handwashing in the foyer, the decorative collecting box, the Torah cabinet and the parapet trellis of the Mizrahi-podium were restaurated carefully.
Books for lend are placed on the ground floor while the reference library – with comfortable reading and searching seats – can be found on the gallery. Since the Synagogue’s acoustic is great, it is excellent for concerts and literary events. Organ concerts are often held here as it has it’s own electronic organ.
Whenever you visit Baja, this pleasant small town near the Danube, don’t miss to visit the Synagogue. The librarians will be more than happy to show you around.

Details
Photographer: 
Könyvtár
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 Schäffer Erzsébet

Elszoktunk a csodáktól. Megy az élet, minden ki van számítva, nem történik semmi rendkívüli... (...)
Kislánykoromban volt egy szokásom: a csodavárás. Ha nagyon szerettem volna valamit,
akkor behunytam a szemem, és háromszor balra megpördültem a sarkamon.(...)
Egyszer megpördültem, és mikor kinyitottam a szemem, hát ott állt valaki. 
A csodákat nem kell lebecsülnie az embernek, s ha nem várjuk őket,
akkor is vannak. Szóval, ha valaki megkapargatja a saját életét, és
a kicsi pillanatokat összesöpörgeti, nagyon sok van, egészen biztos. 
Az emberek végigcsinálják a történeteket, és valahol a jóra várnak.
Valahogyan mindig ez derül ki: a jóra várnak. Még ha nincs is a homlokára írva,
és a világ a felszínen nem erről szól, de mégis ez van, mert enélkül semmi nem működne.

 

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