The Mainz Jewish Cemetery has been occupied since January 2, 1881.
In 1878, the Israelite Religious Community accepted a corresponding offer from the city and acquired the land required for its own cemetery on Untere Zahlbacher Strasse and Xaveriusweg , right next to the main cemetery , as there was no longer any space for new graves on the previously used Jewish sand .
The Jewish cemetery and the mourning hall are now designated as cultural monuments and are grouped together in the “Jewish Cemetery” monument zone, see: List of cultural monuments in Mainz-Oberstadt .
The construction of a morgue with a tahara room began according to the plans of the city architect Eduard Kreyssig . The handover to the head of the Israelite religious community, Moritz Oppenheim , took place on January 2, 1881 as part of the inauguration of the new cemetery.
Only two years earlier Kreyssig had redesigned the synagogue of the Orthodox Jews on Margaretengasse in what it was called at the time, “the noblest forms of the heyday of the Moorish style” . In addition, the Jewish communities of the 19th century deliberately wanted to differentiate themselves from the predominant neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic styles of the Christian churches in the style of their cult buildings .
Characteristic are, for example, the corner pillars crowned with onion domes - design elements that were shown in the synagogue by Ignaz Opfermann , which was inaugurated in 1853 in what was then Judengasse . Moorish models were decisive for the pillar-supported serrated arch of the entrance canopy , as well as for the unusual shape of the keel arched windows and the horseshoe arches inside the pillar arch there. For their part, the Moors adopted the motif of the horseshoe arch from the Visigoths .
The mourning hall is a single-storey brick building in oriental shapes. Originally, the left side wing housed the overseer's apartment, while the right had morgues. A residential building was added there in the 1920s. After the Second World War, the mourning hall temporarily served as a synagogue.
As a typical feature of Kreyßig's buildings, the mourning hall is a combination of an iron construction made by an engineer and a handcrafted facade facing. With its artistic design, the mourning hall is one of the most important of the seventeen structures of its kind still in existence in Rhineland-Palatinate .
Under the direction of the architect Thomas Stahlhub , it was extensively restored from 2004 to 2010 on behalf of the Mainz Jewish community with the support of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the City of Mainz and the German Foundation for Monument Protection . The original color was also restored inside. The crowning of the corner in the form of onion hoods was created in 2010 thanks to donations from the Diocese of Mainz , the Evangelical Dean's Office Mainz and the Rotary Club Mainz.
Simple gravestones with inscriptions, classicist tombs, for example:
- Field 1: Tomb of the Hecht couple (1881/1888), pedestals with covered urns; Tomb of the Oppenheim couple (1884), obelisk .
- Field 2: H. Meyer, urn under canopy , fence, 1890.
- Field 3: B. Wolf, raised, rose-wrapped column stump, 1894; MM Mayer burial site (1917), aedicule .
- Field 5: Tombs of the Mayer couple (1903/1916), aedicules; Gravesites Oppenheim (1902/1907), aedicules.
- Field 7: M. Loeb (1924) and B. Simon (1926), Neue Sachlichkeit .
The cemetery can be visited in the summer months (April to September) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and in the winter months (October to March) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cemetery is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays . Furthermore, the cemetery and the mourning hall take part in the day of the cemetery , which is held annually on November 1st ( All Saints' Day ) at the neighboring Mainzer Main Cemetery .