Bethaus

sights / Religious

Bethaus information

Vienna , Austria
Address
Street 09, Spitalgasse 2
Extras Courtyard 6, Altes AKH
Getting there
metro Schottentor
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Lonely Planet review

This tiny Jewish prayer house, replete with an atrium roof, is a moving aspect of the Altes AKH university campus. It was built in 1903 for Jewish patients of the hospital and in 1938 the Nazis unleashed their terror upon it. The building was completely revamped in the 1970s, and today it has been resurrected as art and a memorial.

The transparent floor chronicles the fate of the prayer house; one level depicts Max Fleischer’s original design from 1903; above that is a text from the Gestapo about the pogroms of 1938 against Vienna’s Jews; the third layer is a plan of the transformer station. The atrium roof is a glass version of Fleischer’s original roof. Bulgarian-born artist Minna Antova was responsible for these artistic features, which successfully capture a mood of vulnerability. Mostly it’s locked, but you can see inside.