August 2016-After a day drive through the countryside we arrive in Vidin, the port city on the Danube River, where we were to start our River Cruise. It was an interesting drive, on highways and smaller roads, and through countryside that was similar to parts of Canada. As we continued to hear the history of Bulgaria, we noticed farmland, and factory towns that appeared struggling to thrive again.
We arrived in Vidin observing a town, with buildings in disrepair and appeared stuck in time. The plan of the tour was to visit the medieval fortress, Baba Vida- overlooking the Danube River, then a historic church know for the frescoes, and then to arrive at our boat.
Instead as our bus approached the park, adjacent to the fortress, I spotted the synagogue. The building stands as a ruin – 4 towers, roofless and abandoned. Built in 1894, the neo-gothic structure was the second largest in Bulgaria, with a sanctuary 21 m long x 10 m wide. The events of world history fill pages of books and provide an explanation of what happened to the Jewish communities of Bulgaria, and the exodus from Vidin to Israel.
There has been talk of restoring the building and using the space as a museum, and for cultural activities.