Our Medieval City! The First Jewish Community in Vienna
We are looking forward to welcome you at our new permanent exhibition “Our Medieval City! The First Jewish Community in Vienna” from March 15, 2021. Discover unexpected and particularly exciting new insights into the early history of Viennese Jewish women and men as well as the fruitful life, but also the tragic end of this medieval community. The history of the origins of the Holocaust Memorial and the intensive discussions leading up to its implementation will also find space. The exhibition will feature the latest research results and technologies. Moreover, access to the Museum Judenplatz will also be barrier-free.
Important Jewish community in the Middle Ages
Vestiges of the first Jewish community in Vienna can be traced back to the time when Vienna became an important ducal city of the Babenbergs. Mentioned in 1194, Shlom the Mintmaster is the first documented Jew with residence in Vienna. At the beginning of the 13th century, Jewish women and men settled around today’s Judenplatz, where they lived together and in close exchange with the Christian population for around 200 years. The Viennese Jewish community developed into one of the most important in medieval Europe, not least because of the numerous influential rabbis – among them Isaac ben Moses, known as Or Zarua. The community came to an abrupt end when Duke Albrecht V ordered the robbery, expulsion and murder of Viennese Jewish women and men in 1420/21.
Use of the latest research findings and technologies
Current archaeological and architectural history research, as well as the latest technologies, make both the excavation of the synagogue, which was destroyed in 1421, and the topography of the Jewish quarter experienceable. The exhibition provides insights into everyday life and explains the history of Judenplatz as an urban space. For centuries after 1421, the traces of Jewish life on this square hardly remained in the city’s consciousness. The remnants of the synagogue were first discovered during the building of the memorial for the Austrian Jewish victims of the Shoah. After years of debate, these were made accessible in 2000 through the newly opened Museum Judenplatz.
With support from: