France / Cities near Paris


Synagogue of Versailles. Photo by Peter Potrowl – Wikipedia

The Jewish presence in Versailles dates back to the 18th century, when Jewish merchants from Comtat and Alsace settled there. The religious ceremonies of this small community are celebrated at the home of the officiating minister.

Thanks to the arrival of Jews from Paris but also from Alsace, Lorraine and Germany, the community grew, mainly after 1870. It was then that the project of a large synagogue, the one we know, was born. The architects Aldrophe and Blondel are in charge of the project, financed by the patron Charlotte Furtado-Heine.

The  synagogue was inaugurated on September 22, 1886. Romanesque in style, it also contains traces of Byzantine style. On the pediment of the synagogue we see the sculpture of open Torah scrolls. Numerous biblical inscriptions adorn the place.

The grandfather of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss was a rabbi in this synagogue.

The Jewish cemetery of Versailles is located near the synagogue. It dates from the Revolution. The Gonards cemetery also has a Jewish square.