Enfilade

New Book | Synagogues In Hungary, 1782–1918

Posted in books by Editor on September 19, 2017

Klein’s magnum opus was first published in Hungarian in 2011. It’s recently been translated into English. From the Central European Press:

Rudolf Klein, Synagogues In Hungary, 1782–1918 (Budapest: Terc Press, 2017), 800 pages, ISBN: 978 615544 5088, $120 / €106 / £92.

This is the first comprehensive study that systematically covers all synagogues in Hungary from the Edict of Tolerance by Joseph II to the end of World War I. Unlike prior attempts, dealing only with post-World-War-II Hungary, the geographical range of this study includes historic Hungary, including the Austro-Hungarian successor states. The study presents the architecture of Hungarian synagogues chronologically, giving special attention to the boom of synagogue architecture and art from 1867 to 1918, a time also called ‘the modern Jewish Renaissance’. The greatest contribution of this book is the innovative matrix method, which the author applies to determine the basic types of synagogues by using eight basic criteria. The book also deals with the problem of urban context, the position of the synagogue in the city and its immediate environment. There are two detailed case studies addressing how communities built their synagogues and how these were received by the general public. A theoretical summary tries to determine the role of post-emancipation period synagogues in general architectural history.

Rudolf Klein is Professor of modern architectural history, Szent István University, Miklós Ybl Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Budapest.

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