The general renovation of the synagogue in Szydłów has now been completed. Thanks to funds from the European Union, its renovation is part of a project of a “Comprehensive conservation and protection of historical, cultural objects in Szydłów and adapting them for cultural and tourism purposes”. So, how does Szydłów synagogue look now after renovation and what can tourists expect to see?
This 16th century building is the oldest synagogue in the Świętokrzyskie Province and one of the oldest in Poland. After the War, it served as a warehouse and cinema. During 1978-1981, the synagogue, with its women’s gallery, was renovated. The comprehensive renovation was to restore the building’s sacred character. Today, the building houses the Community Cultural Centre.
Renovation work began in the spring of 2018. The building required not only reconstruction and renovation, but also retro-fitting. The external timber structure was renovated, the roof was replaced and the stone floors, sanitary facilities and women’s gallery were also renovated. The area around the synagogue has been adapted for visitors. Behind the building, there was a huge playground and the rest of the area contains a vast amount of greenery, including new park. The synagogue interior contained a room adapted for the holding of events. One of the initial ideas was to use the refreshed space as an area for an outdoor exhibition telling visitors the stories of prominent Polish Jews.
The renovation was undertaken by the Furmanek Renewel company. In December 2018, construction manager Sławomir Jantura, said, “Our task is to restore the synagogue’s historic, artistic and architectural values and to recreate the original interior design with the elements of a prayer house”.
How does it look now? There’s only one way to find out – by visiting the Community Cultural Centre in Szydłów!