Murska Sobota Synagogue Restored in Virtual Reality, 68 Years After Being Demolished

By , 16 Apr 2022, 10:35 AM Lifestyle
Postcard of Murska Sobota Synagogue, date unknown Postcard of Murska Sobota Synagogue, date unknown Wikimedia, public domain

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STA, 14 April - The Murska Sobota synagogue (Sinagoga Murska Sobota), which was demolished in 1954, has been revived in virtual form as part of the Interreg Danube project based on a few photos and incomplete plans for the building dating to 1908-1954. Using virtual reality headsets, visitors can now enter the synagogue or take a stroll around it.

The goal was to present this "extraordinary element of Jewish cultural heritage" to locals and visitors again, said
Brigita Perhavec and Daniel Ulčar from the Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport, head of Pomurje Museum Metka Fujs and Art Rebel 9 CEO Matjaž Požlep as they presented the project.

The synagogue in Murska Sobota was the work of renowned Jewish architect Lipot Baumhorn, who designed 25 synagogues and Jewish temples, and was build in the Hungarian architectural style in 1908.

During the Second World War, when local Jews were taken to concentration camps, mostly Auschwitz, the town bought the building and decided to demolish it in 1954.

The decision was made because the building was in poor condition, so it could not be used, while the few dozen Jews who returned from concentration camps had no money to finance the renovation.

The virtual synagogue is part of the Rediscover project of exploring the hidden Jewish heritage of the Danube region within the Interreg Danube project, featuring partners from Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Germany.

Apart from the virtual synagogue, the Murska Sobota Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport also made records of tangible and intangible Jewish cultural heritage and organised various activities, including the Days of Jewish Culture in Murska Sobota, a Jewish trail, and an exhibition presenting Baumhorn's work and the Jewish community in Murska Sobota.

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