The two synagogues and the Lővér Hills in Sopron
The Old Synagogue of Sopron is the oldest synagogue in Europe, built in the early fourteenth century as a place of worship for the Hebrew community that lived in the city. Although they were known as great merchants, they were not very rich in that period, but managed to build this Gothic synagogue, unique in Europe.
The auxiliary buildings of the Old Synagogue in Sopron were used as accommodation places for the travelers, but also for ritual baths. Once entered into the synagogue, you are led to the main lobby through an entry dating from 1300. Special attention deserves the ark and the pulpit.
The Old Synagogue
The Ark of the synagogue is embroidered with motifs symbolizing grapes and vine leaves. The pulpit, rails and table of the reader are oriented to east, as they were thought since construction. There is a prayer area for women, with a separate entrance.
After the expulsion of Jews from Sopron in 1526, the synagogue has entered into an advanced state of decay. In time, it was converted into private homes. Following the restoration process that began in 1967, the old synagogue regained its former splendor. You can not come in a vacation to Sopron without a visit to the Old Synagogue, it is a building that surely worth to be seen.
The New Synagogue
As you leave the Old Synagogue, going down, you will meet the New Synagogue of Sopron. Both synagogues are dating from the fourteenth century and are among the most important Jewish Gothic buildings in Europe. The New Synagogue, which was recently renovated, functions in buildings that were previously private houses and administrative offices.
The Lővér Hills
In the Southwest of Sopron you will find the Lővér Hills, an exellent tourist area, with dream landscapes, which are ideal for hiking. For a broader view of the surroundings, you can climb up the Karoly Tower, located at an altitude of 398 m. From here you can make some impressive photos of the city, even until the foothills of the Austrian Alps, especially because the Lővér Hills of Sopron are located at 5 km from the border with Austria. It is an ideal place for hiking enthusiasts and not only for them.
The history of the place is related to the fact that during the Second World War many Hebrew and their partisans were executed here by the Hungarian fascist White Cross organization.