After a long time, the Trenčín Synagogue opened its doors to the press public. An introductory conference of the project of restoration of this unique building took place on its premises on 2. June, 2021. The area, which will soon be renovated, was visited by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Slovakia, representatives of the Ministry of Investment, local government representatives, the Regional Monuments Office in Trenčín and the Regional Tourism Organization. The event took place under strict anti-pandemic measures.
"It is an extraordinary day for me and it is also an extraordinary day for this place, whose architecture and history far exceeds the borders of Slovakia," said Oľga Hodálová, president of the Jewish Religious Community (ŽNO), at the beginning of the conference. The members of the comunity have been trying to restore the synagogue for a long time, but so far there was a financial problem. Finally, this problem was also solved - the building, which was more than 100 years old, was included among the monuments supported by EEA Grants and the state budget under the Culture Program. ŽNO received almost 900 thousand euros, while the total budget of the entire project is more than one million euros. "I believe we are at the beginning of a long process that will lead to a completely renovated synagogue. This building deserves it. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but our goal is clear - to return the synagogue to its original beauty and dignity, "added Oľga Hodálová.
Terje Theodor Nervik, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Slovakia, reminded that during the previous programming periods they financially supported the restoration of two synagogues - in Žilina and Bardejov. "These beautiful buildings have been renovated and serve the public for cultural and social activities. This is also the aim of the project in Trenčín to make accessible - a renewed synagogue for visitors and tourists, to enable them to enjoy the architecture and experience cultural, educational and social activities in this beautiful environment, "he said.
The restoration of the synagogue is one of 19 projects that managed to obtain financial support from EEA Grants. In total, around 16 million € will be redistributed. According to Jana Dacková, Head of the Program Management Department of the EEA and Norway Grants Department, "Restoration, Reconstruction and Revitalization of the Synagogue in Trenčín" was the second most successful project in the evaluation. The expectations are therefore high. "The project was assessed as very well prepared, logical, its results will not only provide a well-restored cultural monument: the Jewish synagogue, which is increasingly important today due to rising radicalism and antisemitism, but the planned activities can enrich knowledge about cultural heritage, material and intangible, and to ensure their adequate presentation, "said Jana Dacková.
The synagogue in Trenčin was designed by a pair of architects - Richard Scheibner and Pál Hugo. Their architectural idea was materialized in the years 1912 - 1913 thanks to the Trenčín construction businessmen - Béla Niegreisz and Albert Fuchs. At the time of its creation, it was one of the largest buildings of its kind in this town. To this day, it significantly completes the city's urbanism and, with its characteristic dome roofs, it forms one of the dominants of the Trenčín Municipal Monument Reserve. It represents a quality example of architecture inspired by Byzantine and Moorish architecture, combined with decorative elements of contemporary art currents - Art Nouveau and Art Deco.