The largest synagogue on the Balkans, the Sofia Synagogue was designed by the court architect Friedrich Grünanger. Completed in 1909, regular religious services have been held here since, except between 1943-1944, when most of Sofia’s Jews were deported to the countryside. The deportation of Bulgarian Jews to Nazi camps during World War II was halted by a strong public reaction.

In 1982 the minister for culture at the time attempted to transform the synagogue into a concert hall, but that didn’t happen due to the strong public reaction of the Jewish community. In 1956, the synagogue officially became a cultural monument of national significance.

#sоSofia tip: Nowadays the building also houses the Jewish Historical Museum.