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Project Partners in the Danube Region

Municipality of Szeged and Szeged and Surroundings Tourism Nonprofit Ltd., Hungary

The Municipality of Szeged (LP of REDISCOVER), managed by Szeged TOUR, is the third largest city in Hungary, with a Europe Nostra Awarded eclectic style city centre, riverside promenade, well-known cultural festivals and other attractions, and an established local network of tourism service providers. Szeged TOUR tasks include propagation of attractions, programs and tourist services in Szeged at domestic and foreign exhibitions. Apart from these, Szeged TOUR is also present in foreign and domestic major events (fairs, festivals) to promote Szeged as a city rich in multicultural heritage.

In Szeged the Jewish community was founded relatively late, in 1781. The Jewish population reached its peak in 1920 (around 7,000), but in World War II 3,000 of them were killed in Auschwitz, 750 survivors returned after WWII and only a few hundred remained by the early 1990s. Today, Szeged owns the 2nd largest Synagogue in Hungary and the 4th largest in the world.

Municipality of Galati, Romania

Situated at the bank of the Danube, close to the Romanian border with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, Galati is an important river port as well as a city acknowledged by its rich and diverse cultural heritage. The history of Galati, which goes back for more than a millennium, speaks volumes about the abundance of heritage that was accumulated through time. Galati is one of the major sites of Jewish culture in this part of Europe. The history of Jews in Galati goes back for several centuries and around ninety years ago, the city had more than twenty synagogues - at that time, every fifth inhabitant of Galati was Jewish, yet nowadays, there are just little more than a hundred Jewish inhabitants.

Municipality of Timisoara, Romania

Popularly referred to as a “Heart of Banat” or “Little Vienna”, Timisoara is one of the largest cities in Romania and the largest in Banat. There are close to 320,000 people living in Timisoara. The city’s importance in the cultural field has been widely recognized and in 2021 it will be the “European Capital of Culture”. Timisoara was exposed to various influences which left a trace in the life of the city as well in its architecture and one of those influences came from the Jewish community which is part of the city for several centuries now. Synagogues are located here, a Jewish cemetery as well as some notable citizens of Jewish origin who were born here. One of the synagogues, erected in a part of the city called Fabric, is connected to the synagogues in the Municipality of Szeged through the common architect who was behind both of the projects. The issue of cultural heritage is one of the priorities for the administration of the city which aims to preserve its heritage and improve its touristic potential.

Municipality of Regensburg, World Heritage Coordination, Germany

According to the wording of World Heritage Regensburg, this Bavarian city is “the only authentically preserved large medieval city in Germany”. Regensburg was built at the place where the rivers of Regen and Naab flow into the Danube, it has a history of almost two millennia and the legacy of all those centuries is still visible in the contemporary Regensburg. The Jewish community played an important role in the history of this city and the contemporary Regensburg has one thousand Jewish inhabitants. The tangible heritage of the Jewish community in Regensburg was mostly destroyed; therefore it is even more urgent to “rediscover” it. World Heritage Management City of Regensburg is primarily oriented towards organizing a range of activities for the part of the city under the UNESCO protection, which include the management of this heritage as well as organisation of various relevant exhibitions and communication campaigns. Through these projects, the World Heritage Management City of Regensburg also aims to cover the local Jewish heritage and promote it as an important element of Regensburg’s heritage.

Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport Murska Sobota, Slovenia

This city, which lies on the bank of the river Mura is very close to Austrian, Hungarian and Croatian border and although it’s a small city, Murska Sobota is historically important for the Slovenian Jewish community. Less than ninety years ago, Jewish inhabitants of Slovenia turned this city into their capital. With its Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Murska Sobota holds the key local organization responsible for the activities in these three sectors and with 18 members of staff it manages to organize 230 events annually and positions itself as an important institution for the entire region. It possesses the proven capacity to manage projects in culture and other sectors as well as the experience in transnational projects.

City of Osijek, Croatia

Osijek, the 4th largest city of Croatia, is the economic and cultural centre of the Slavonia region, and seat of the Osijek-Baranja County. It is a popular domestic tourist destination known for its Baroque architecture, open spaces and recreational opportunities. As a city inhabited by a big Jewish population it is enjoying an amazing heritage related to their long local history. By the beginning of the 20th century, the community made up 8% of the total population and its members were active contributors of economy, culture, society, humanitarian activities, health, education and sports. The local Intangible heritage is also remarkable, including the annual Lav Mirski Festival (named after a famous Jewish cello player), regular social, cultural and memorial events (including Israeli dancing events) and memories of several local born Jewish artists and scientists.

City of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the largest city in Srpska. It lies at the Vrbas river and is rich with tree lined avenues, boulevards, gardens and parks. The history of this city begins with the Romans, which conquered these territories in the first few centuries A.D., in the 6th and 7th centuries it was settled by Slavic people. In 1528 Banja Luka was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, which ruled this region for four centuries. After a decision from the Congress in Berlin in 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was placed under Austro-Hungarian administration, which ended in 1918. After the two World Wars, today’s most beautiful buildings and monuments in the city were constructed - Banja Luka continued its improvement and development and even built a lot of modern skyscrapers.
The earliest reference to a Jewish community dates from 1713. The community had two different synagogues, a Sephardi and an Ashkenazi synagogue. Both synagogues were destroyed during the Holocaust, when most of the local Jews perished. A joint community center was built in 1936, but it was damaged by the Allied bombing in 1944. There was just a small Jewish community which was reestablished in 1990. On the 22nd of November 2018 Banja Luka was also shortlisted as a city candidate for the European Capital of Culture 2024.

Municipality of Kotor, Montenegro

The present day name of the town of Kotor is the slavic version of the antique Catarum. The city has lived through many administrations and was ruled by different powers, like the Romans, the Venetians and then the Austrians. In the middle ages however, it became one of the major trading cities in the Adriatic Sea. In modern history, as a part of Montengro, Kotor belonged to Yugoslavia, and thus became independent in 2006. The Jews in Montenegro were mostly treated well, but from 1831 onwards, the situation of the Jewish people got worse. They were forbidden to work their jobs and were only allowed to be active in their own community. In 1941, the Nazi regime occupied Montenegro - Jews were treated very badly and were brought to concentration camps, where many of them died. After World War II, the Federation of Jewish Communities was quickly opened.

City of Subotica, Serbia

Subotica has an extensive history and was ruled by a lot of different powers, which caused the city to be part of different countries, and being called many different names in the past (up to 200 different ones). The most well-known names of the city are “Zabadka” (which translates from the Hungarian language to “free place”) and the Austrian “Maria Tereziopolis”. “Subotica”, translated from Serbian means “a little Saturday”.
Today, more than 20 ethnic minorities and people from all over the world with different cultures live in Subotica.

The first Jews came here in 1775, and ten years later, they were allowed to found their own religious community.
In the beginning of the 19th century, 43 Jewish families were living in Subotica. The Jewish community also got a new synagogue in the year 1902, which is still standing. It is well-known both for its beauty and its present state of preservation.
In 1940 there were 6,000 Jews in Subotica out of a total population of about 100,000.
From 1970 to 2004, the Jewish population in Subotica went down from 400 to 220.