My Guide Website?
Not many synagogues have been built in Vienna since the end of the 2nd world war - so Stadttempel is definitely the most important one in Vienna. The synagogue was constructed in 1825 and 1826. Luxurious from the inside, the Stadttempel was fitted into a block of houses and hidden from plain view of the street because of an edict issued by Emperor Joseph II that only Roman Catholic places of worship were allowed to be built with facades fronting directly on to public streets.
Ironically, this edict saved the synagogue from total destruction during the Kristallnacht in November 1938, since the synagogue could not be destroyed without setting on fire the buildings to which it was attached. The Stadttempel was the only synagogue in the city to survive World War II, all of the other 93 synagogues and Jewish prayer-houses in Vienna were destroyed. Today the synagogue is the main temple for the Viennese Jewish Community of about 7,000 members.