Construction workers have found rubble from Munich’s main synagogue in a nearby river, 85 years after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered the destruction of the building.

The workers uncovered columns from the synagogue and a stone tablet showing some of the Ten Commandments, according to a report in the BBC.

The Jewish community and local figures are delighted with the discovery.

"We never thought we would find anything from it," Bernhard Purin, head of Munich's Jewish museum, told the BBC.

There had been no sign of the building since it was torn down in June 1938, after Hitler demanded its removal as an "eyesore". Five months later, Jews, synagogues and Jewish-run businesses were attacked across Nazi Germany in the pogrom known as Kristallnacht.

"Yesterday I saw [the remains] for the first time and it was one of the most moving moments in 30 years of working in Jewish museums, especially seeing the plaque of the Ten Commandments not seen since 1938," Purin told the BBC.

The stone tablet originally came from above the Ark which contains the Torah. Purin said that a little less than a quarter of the tablet was missing and it was the most significant discovery so far.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, Charlotte Knobloch, was thrilled by the discovery as she had worshipped in the old synagogue as a girl before it was destroyed.

"These stones are part of Munich's Jewish history," Knobloch, 90, was quoted as having told the Münchner Merkur newspaper. "I really didn't expect fragments to survive, let alone that we would see them."

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter told public broadcaster BR that finding the remains of such a magnificent building was a "stroke of luck." His deputy, Katrin Habenschaden, said it was the city's historic duty to make the discovery secure and return it to the Jewish community.