I was not planning a visit but an accidental stop-over on the way to spa Town of Piestany took my breath away. Forget the iced coffees and elderberry lemonades that cooled us down on a hot August day. Forget the comfortable seating in discreet compartments fenced off by bookshelves. Instead, imagine driving into a narrow street of Austro-Hungarian character, squeezed between numerous churches, towers and spires. Picture a towerless white washed building with circle and arched windows reminiscent of a Greek Church would it not be for a tablet of ten commandments placed above the entrance.
Welcome to the Synagoga Cafe – a new type of a Coffee House with an ornamental ceiling that will make you wow and the altar (with another ten commandments tablet) that will make you think. Numerous art pictures, books, antiques and memorabilia, hanged on the walls or exhibited leisurely about the hall will make you brush upon your knowledge of art and history, if you’re that way inclined. For some, the place may be even haunting or moving – depending on how much you know about Jews and their history in the region.
According to a very small letter type explanation on the origins of the synagogue, placed above the ritual wash-basin in the entrance hall, the building is an excellent example of an Orthodox place of worship. This is different to either the Status quo ante or Neological branches of Jewish faith that also historically had their presence in the town of Trnava. Influential rabbis Izak Tyrnau, Simon Sidon and Chatam Sofer-Schreiber all had a connection with the town and the Orthodox faith in different times.
Considering that Trnava is just a throw away from Bratislava, easily reached by frequent trains and buses, it has a lot to offer to those who are interested in religious and social history as well as those who follow the Small Carpathian Wine Route http://www.bratislavaguide.com/slovakia-wines-bratislava
The blog and the pictures are only a little taster of what Trnava has to offer.