Granted right of residence by the authorities of the Transylvanian principality in 1653, for many years Alba Iulia was the only locality in which Jews were legally allowed to settle, resulting in a rich and singular Jewish history. Today only one synagogue remains, built in 1840 and maintained by the dwindling community. With the exception of the ornate, massive chandeliers, its beauty is austere with high, undecorated walls, a smooth, stone floor and simple wooden benches. Set at a major intersection in the centre of town, its location and size mutely testify to days gone past.

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