Rebirth for Cologne's historic Jewish quarter

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2011

The Jewish quarter of a German city is to be rebuilt as part of an effort to display more of the community's long history.

Excavators in Cologne hope the work will be finished by 2015.

The city's Jewish quarter, home to more than 20,000 Jews before the Holocaust, has been traced back to at least the 15th century.

However archaeologists have also discovered the remains of what they believed to be a synagogue from the year 780.

Once the excavations are complete, the intention is to create a Jewish museum in the quarter, displaying objects found in the dig such as 1920s seder plates and siddurim.

Because the construction of the museum is expected to cost Cologne's municipal government £32 million, there has been opposition from a number of groups and as a result the project has been a long time in fruition.

"To show all this rich history is something which should be done," said Sven Schutte, head of excavation.

Last updated: 2:16pm, August 10 2011