Fordon – now the north-east district of Bydgoszcz – until 1973 was a small town. Its beginnings are connected with an early-medieval stronghold Wyszogród, located on the left bank of Vistula, at the mouth of Brda. In 1330 Teutonic Knights destroyed Wyszogród. The stronghold declined. Fordon was founded in 1382, under the German law, near to the old stronghold. At first it was called Wyszogród, but in the 15th century name Fordon was in common use. In 1424 king Ladislaus Jagiełło granted the town the Magdeburg law.
Jews appeared in Fordon probably in the 15th century. Oldest wooden synagogues in Fordon were located on the town square, near to the church. Since the third quarter of the 17th century wooden synagogues were located in the place of the present brick synagogue.
The present brick synagogue was constructed in 1827/1828. This dating is confirmed by the dendrochronological examination, In the light of recent researches the earlier date estimated as the middle of the 18th century should be considered as a mistake.
During the Second World War the building was reconstructed and until 1988 served as a cinema. Then it was gradually going to rack and ruin.
In spite of destructions the synagogue retained an original building block and original architectural and spatial character of the interior can be reconstructed.
The building represented a synagogue of the longitudinal arrangement type, realized on the east-west axis. Its architecture showed references to the style of so-called second classicism. Aron ha-kodesz was performed in 1832 by Samuel Goldbaum. He made also wooden sculpturing altar closet door with Torah rolls for synagogues in Tylża and Kępno. The synagogue in Fordon could hold 500 men in the main hall and 270 women in the gallery. At that time above 1400 Jews lived in Fordon. The total cost of the construction was 10 000 thalers. The building was one of the most impressive in Fordon.
Key words: synagogue, Fordon