The Old Jewish Temple, also known as the Old Synagogue and the Great Temple (Il Kal Grandi), is the oldest place of worship for Jews in Sarajevo. It was built at the end of the 16th century in the part of town then known as Velika Avlija, a small Jewish neighborhood in Sarajevo’s Baščaršija.

It was engulfed in flames on several occasions, suffering the worst damage in 1697 and again in 1788. After the fire of 1788, which also spread to the Jewish neighborhood and adjacent dwellings, the synagogue’s roof collapsed.

The temple’s current appearance dates from 1813, when it underwent reconstruction.

After Nazi occupation began in 1941, the synagogue was looted and demolished. It was here that Sarajevo’s Jews were detained before being deported to concentration camps. At the end of World War II the temple was used as a repository.

Some time after the war (in 1957) the structure underwent massive reconstruction and in 1966 it became the Jewish Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina and an annex of the Museum of Sarajevo.



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Founded: 16th century
Category: Religious sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hillal (5 months ago)
The museum delivers a respectful and enlightening experience with thoughtful exhibits and artifacts, offering a deeper understanding of Bosnia and Herzegovina's multicultural tapestry. During my November visit, I had the entire museum to myself, spending just over 2 hours exploring its compact yet impactful space. While the potential for becoming one of the most interesting Jewish museums in Europe is evident, there's room for improvement. A lot of the information on the labels/plaques was poorly written and occasionally a bit confusing. The stories of the Righteous Among Nations were hard to read, which was a shame. That could easily be an interactive exhibit.
Mashael (7 months ago)
Informative, but smaller than I thought it would be.
Malcolm (9 months ago)
Beautiful building with some interesting documents and description. As they admit themselves in an introduction, the museum could be more than it is.
Shawny (12 months ago)
A museum that needs to be visited. Jews are an essential part of Sarajevo who played a big role in its development until WW2
Visnja Milidragovic (2 years ago)
A moving place to learn about Judaism and the Jewish people who lived here and the vibrancy of their lives before the atrocities that took so many lives under the Croat Ustasa and German Nazis.
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