Despite now being situated in Serbia, this ornate synagogue is really a Hungarian building – constructed when the Kingdom of Hungary controlled modern day Serbia. The young architects who were commissioned, Marcell Komor and Dezso Jakab, were students of Odon Lechner, who at the turn of the century attempted to bring together elements of Hungarian folk art and Art Nouveau to create a recognisable Hungarian style. Monumental in scale and dominated by a large central dome, the buildings modernity is encapsulated in its steel substructure and the innovative shell concrete construction, used to make the dome light enough to be supported by the slender steel uprights. Subotica is the only Hungarian Synagogue designed in the Nouveau style and is simply one of the most impressive and important buildings of any kind in the style in this part of Europe. The Zsolnay roof tiles that cap the building are a trademark of the Hungarian Nouveau and were used extensively by Odon Lecher and others across the country.
In 1974 the synagogue was designated a Monument of Culture in 1974 and in 1990 it was designated a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance. It is protected by the Republic of Serbia.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF), have done much work to make sure that, despite the fact that it is no longer used for worship, the building has been sensitively maintained. More about the conservation work on this unique and special building can be found here – www.wmf.org/project/subotica-synagogue.