Leopoldstädter Tempel

Vienna, Austria

Burned 1938

The Disappointed Tourist: Leopoldstädter Tempel , Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Leopoldstädter Tempel (also known as the Israelitische Bethaus in der Wiener Vorstadt Leopoldstadt) was the largest synagogue in Vienna. It was built in the Moorish Revival Style by the architect Ludwig Förster and inspired many other similar synagogues. The famous cantor and composer Josef Goldstein was its cantor from 1857 until 1899. Rabbi and scholar Adolf Jellinek, known as the greatest synagogue orator of the 19th Century and also for for his writings on the Kabbala and ethnic psychology, was rabbi at the Tempel from 1856 until 1983. Moritz Güdemann, the historian and chief rabbi of Vienna, who protested the proposal to strike from the prayer-book all passages referring to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, was also rabbi at the Tempel until 1918. The temple was destroyed on November 10, 1938. The text of the memorial plaque on the site is as follows: “Here stood the Leopoldstädter Temple, built in 1858 in the Moorish style according to the plans of architect Leopold Förster, all but the foundation of which was completely destroyed by National Socialist barbarians on the so-called “Night of Broken Glass” on 10 November 1938.” The painting is based on an uncredited engraving from 1858 that I found on Wikipedia.

Requested by Anon.