The Grande Synagogue of Paris, also known as Synagogue de la Victoire, is built in the classical style, but embellished with Byzantine frills. The synagogue was inaugurated in 1874, and opened to the public a year later. The architect was Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe who also built the synagogues in Versailles and in Enghien-les-Bains.
The construction commenced in 1867. The original project included the synagogue’s main entrance would be located on the Rue de Châteaudun, but Empress Eugénie opposed the idea of placing the synagogues between the Église de la Sainte-Trinité and the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette church.
On the 21st of April 1890, Alfred Dreyfus married Lucie Hadamard in the synagogue. The ceremony was officiated by the Chief Rabbi of France, Zadoc Kahn, a future ‘Dreyfusard’ who advocated for Dreyfus’ freedom.
During the German occupation, the synagogue was attacked several times. In 1941 a bomb was planted; the following year, the interior was looted; and in 1943 the Nazis organised a round-up of the faithful gathered in the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah celebrations.
On the 100th anniversary of its construction, the building was renovated. It is 44 metres long and 28 metres tall with a façade measuring 8 metres more. The capacity of the synagogue is about 1400 people.
The inscription in Hebrew at the entrance is a verse from Genesis 28,17: ‘Is this not the House of God, and this the gate to Heaven’, the same as is found on the entrance to the Synagogue of Reims and that of the Bar-le-Duc. The interior also has a number of religious inscriptions above the doors. Moreover, it includes a series of 12 stained glass windows symbolising the Tribes of Israel. The choir is separated from the assembly by a balustrade and the bimah. Every year on a Sunday preceding Rosh Hashanah a ceremony in remembrance of the Martyrs of the Deportation is held there.