Between 1908 and 1910 Franz Roeckle completed an imposing building at Freiherr-vom-Stein-Strasse 30-32, featuring a domed central building in Egyptian-Assyrian style. Adjoining on either side are buildings of differing height constructed of shell limestone.1 A medallion with a heraldic stylized lion holding in its paw a shield bearing a Star of David adorns the gable on the front side.2The entryway is formed by a low, domed portal leading into a courtyard containing a fountain. The richly ornamented interior is dominated by the colors blue and gold, with the most elaborate decoration reserved for the central and eastern nave, which contains the Almemar (or Bimah, the raised place from where the Torah is read), the worship leader’s podium, and the Torah ark. In addition to the main sanctuary, which seats 1000, there are offices, apartments, a synagogue for liberal services and a prayer room that is also used as a classroom by the Chabad Talmud students.
The synagogue was built a century ago for the liberal congregation, whose members increasingly settled in the West End at the beginning of the 20th century. Today the large main sanctuary holds Orthodox services, but every Jewish group within Frankfurt’s Jewish Community has a home in this building. Because the Westend Synagogue survived both the November pogrom and World War II relatively unscathed, architects Max Kemper and Werner Hebebrand and graphic artist Hans Leistikow were able to complete reconstruction work between 1948 and 1950. The outer façade was restored for the first time between 1980 and 1984. Further work was undertaken between 1988 and 1994, with architect Henryk Isenberg in charge of reconstructing the original interior.3
60323 Frankfurt am Main [zu Google Maps]
The Westend Synagogue
- Kalusche, Bernd; Setzepfandt, Wolf-Christian (2002): Frankfurt am Main Architekturführer. Berlin: D. Reimer, S. 41.
- Korn, Salomon (2010): Die Westend-Synagoge: Bau, Zerstörung und Wiederaufbau. In: Rachel Heuberger (Hg.): 100 Jahre Westend-Synagoge. Frankfurt am Main 1910-2010. Frankfurt am Main, S. 22 ff.
- Isenberg, Henryk (2010): Die Teilrekonstruktion der Synagoge 1988-1994. In: Heuberger, 100 Jahre Westend-Synagoge, S. 34 ff.