The neolog synagogue in Žilina is a leading example of the functionalist architectural style in Slovakia. It was designed by the prominent German architect Peter Behrens and constructed between 1928 to 1931.
It served as a house of worship up to the beginning of World War II. After the war, the building was used in diverse ways, at various times a stage theatre, concert hall, lecture hall for the University of Žilina, and eventually as a cinema.
After the cinema closed in 2010, the local Jewish community, which owns it, rented it for €1 a year to a non-governmental organisation Truc Sphérique, which has been raising money to completely reconstruct the synagogue and use it as a Kunsthalle (house of art).
The synagogue is large and its size is further emphasised by its dome, decorated with a huge Star of David, which makes it look even larger. The auditorium can hold more than 700 people.
Watch a video about Žilina synagogue, which was prepared as a part of project Cultural Heritage to promote renewal and preservation of cultural and historical heritage in Slovakia, through the EEA and Norwegian Funds.