Recreated Ceiling of the Gwoździec Synagogue Unveiled in Warsaw

Posted in museums by Editor on March 23, 2013

On Tuesday, 12 March 2013, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw (scheduled to open next year) unveiled the newly completed replica of the ceiling from the Gwoździec Synagogue, which was lost when the building was destroyed during World War II. According to the website of Hands House Studio, the synagogue was largely constructed between 1700 and 1731, with some older portions dating to the seventeenth century. As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP):


Gwoździec Synagogue Re!construction Project.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warschau

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

. . . a life-sized replica of the polychrome ceiling of an 18th-century synagogue inspired awe Tuesday [12 March 2013] as it was unveiled in the Polish capital. Covered in richly coloured Old Testament scenes and lushly stylised floral themes, the original ceiling adorned a wooden synagogue in what was the pre-World War II eastern Polish town of Gwozdziec, near what is now Lviv, western Ukraine. Like thousands of other Jewish religious sites, it was destroyed during the war by Nazi Germany. Its modern replica is the centrepiece of the Polish capital’s new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, due to be formally inaugurated April 19, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Its door will open to the public next year. . . .

The replica was handcrafted from wood using traditional tools and techniques and involved nearly 300 craftspeople and artists from around the globe. The new museum is being built in the heart of the Polish capital on the site of the Jewish ghetto that became a symbol of resistance to Nazi Germany’s efforts to eradicate 1,000 years of Jewish presence in Poland. Designed by Finnish architects Rainer Mahlamaeki and Ilmar Lahdelma, the new museum faces the imposing black-stone Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial dedicated to those who perished in the doomed 1943 Jewish revolt against the Nazis. . . .

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Note (added 18 January 2023) — More information on the ceiling is available here with Ariel Fein’s essay for SmartHistory (4 April 2022).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: