Cemetery chapel

Cemetery chapel

The cemetery chapel is the central building of the compound. The building is also called the ceremonial hall and bet tahara [house of purification]. Here the body of the deceased is prepared for the funeral. It is washed and then dressed in white burial shrouds and put into a plain casket. The old cemetery chapel stood on the southern edge of what is now section 4. A three-story neo-Romanesque building served as a representative entrance hall to the compound, as a venue for funeral rituals and as the premises of the Chevra Kadisha association, which had a prominent position in the Bratislava Jewish community. The building was demolished in the 1930s.

Cemetery chapel

A new cemetery chapel was constructed in the south-eastern corner of the cemetery in 1929-1930 according to the designs of the architects Fridrich Weinwurm and Ignác Vécsei. This team were among the most successful architects of the interwar period in Slovakia and they also designed a hospital, an orphanage and an apartment building for the Jewish community.

The modern two-story building has a flat roof and plain facades. The interior space is divided between the ceremonial hall, the tahara hall (for cleaning and preparation of the body for the funeral), storage spaces and two flats in the upper floor. A broad stripe window – a hallmark of modernism – spreads over the entrance doors of the ceremonial hall. A marquee below the window creates a covered space with a chessboard-patterned floor. The interior has no decoration; its plain grey walls and chessboard-patterned floor bestow a solemn atmosphere.

Access ramp

Access to the cemetery compound is provided by an adjoining concrete terrace with access stairway and U-shaped access ramp. The function of this structure was to solve the problem of access in the steeply sloped terrain. A supporting wall, which divides the different ground levels between the cemetery and the road below, was built along the southern wall. The terrace and wall were constructed in 1936-1937 according to the designs of architect Josef Konrad.

The cemetery chapel and adjoining terrace were restored in 2008-2013 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, the SPP Foundation, the Cahnman Foundation and private sponsors. The author of the restoration project was the architectural studio b52, under the guidance of the architect Ján Lukáč (1958-2015).





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GPS: 48°8'33.89"N, 17°5'20.25"E

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Jewish Community
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