The Advice of the Concierge: Sofia Synagogue
The Sofia Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Southeastern Europe, one of two functioning in Bulgaria (the other one in Plovdiv) and the third-largest in Europe (after the ones in Budapest and Amsterdam).
Designed by the Austrian architect Friedrich Grünanger, the synagogue was built in 1909 by the model of the Vienna synagogue.
It is located in the very centre near the Central Market Hall, one of the most dynamic and colourful areas in the city. To reach the place from Kempinski Hotel Zografski Sofia, you need to take the metro for 4 stops and then walk for 10 minutes enjoying the true Sofia rhythm.
The Synagogue architectural style is Moorish Revival, with elements of the Vienna Secession and Venetian architecture on the facade.
The interior is richly decorated, featuring Carrara marble columns and multicoloured Venetian mosaics, as well as impressive woodcarving.
The main chandelier is the largest in the country weighing 2.200 kg.
The services are normally attended by 50 to 60 worshippers although the spacious Synagogue (659 sqm) can accommodate 1,300 worshippers.
The Sofia Synagogue also houses the Jewish Museum of History, which includes the Jewish Communities in Bulgaria and the Holocaust and the Salvation of the Jews in Bulgaria expositions.
You can buy a small souvenir at the synagogue shop.