About the Only Synagogue That Was Saved from the NazisThe Stadttempel, the Great Synagogue of Vienna, is the lucky one out of Vienna's synagogues. This is the only one out of the 74 synagogues and Jewish buildings in the city that were not destroyed on Kristallnacht.
Its nickname is the Kristallnacht, the night of the violent pogrom by Nazi rioters against the Jews. The crystal image came from the many pieces of glass scattered everywhere, as a result of the shattered glass of Jewish houses and businesses.
There were two main reasons why this synagogue survived the difficult night. One is its proximity to the offices of the Jewish community and the German apprehension about its important archive, which included inscriptions and necessary information for their diabolical needs, about the Jews of the city of Vienna.
The second reason was the Germans' fear that the fire would damage the houses nearby. The reason is that the structure of the synagogue was part of a dense row of residential buildings.
Although not severely damaged, the Jewish community renovated the synagogue after the war and added to it glory and splendor.
Architecture of the BuildingDespite being a synagogue for Jews, the architect of the synagogue was not Jewish himself. It therefore has quite a few Christian characteristics. At that time, during the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph II, laws were passed that stated that religious buildings would not receive a prominent and conspicuous façade. This is why the synagogue, which is more beautiful on the inside, looks outwardly like a regular dwelling and manages to hide all its architectural beauty inside the building.
The synagogue has 4 floors and is topped by a dome. Just like all the other synagogues, here too there is a clear separation between men and women - the men sit on the lower floor and the women rise to the balconies of the first and second floors.