The New Synagogue was consecrated on Rosh ha-Shanah in 1866. The Community´s only synagogue up to that time, on Heidereutergasse, had long since proved insufficient for the rapidly growing Jewish population.

The New Synagogue, with its 3,200 seats, became the largest Jewish house of worship in Germany. Services in the New Synagogue were conducted according to the so-called New Rites and Practices, the most important indication of which was the installation of an organ. Such reforms of the service were part of the process of Jewish assimilation.

The well-known architect Eduard Knoblauch (1801-1865) found inspiration for his design in the Moorish style of the Alhambra in Granada. The dome, covered with gilded buttresses and more than 50 meters in height, was acclaimed beyond the borders of Germany for its application of the most modern construction technology.

In the Pogrom of November 1938 (“Kristallnacht”), the New Synagogue was spared major damage. During the Second World War, however, it was severely damaged by Allied bombing. In 1958 the main room of the synagogue was demolished. Only the parts of the building closest to the street remained structurally intact.

In May 1995 the building was reopened with the permanent exhibition, “Open ye the Gates”.