The Spanish Synagogue is the newest synagogue in the area of the so-called Jewish Town, yet paradoxically, it was built at the place of the presumably oldest synagogue, Old School. Spanish Synagogue Map - Prague, Czech Republic - Mapcarta
Also on display are charity boxes, pitcher and basin sets for hand washing, Shabbat spice boxes, Kiddush cups, Hanukkah and Shabbat candles, and charity collection trays. The Spanish Synagogue is part of the Jewsh museum in Prague. The Spanish Synagogue is the most recent synagogue in the Prague Jewish Town.
- Vezenska 141/1, Prague, 110 00
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Spanish Synagogue in Prague, Czech Republic - sight map, attraction information, photo and list of walking tours containing this attraction. Get offline map and directions using our GPSmyCity self-guided walking tours app for your mobile device.
The Spanish Synagogue is the newest synagogue in the area of the so-called Jewish Town, yet paradoxically, it was built at the place of the presumably oldest synagogue, Old School. Spanish Synagogue is situated 210 metres southeast of InterContinental Prague. Photo: Chmee2, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Pinkas Synagogue. Established in 1479 and located in front of the entrance to the Old Jewish Cemetery, Pinkas Synagogue is the second oldest Jewish temple still standing in Prague and one of the most renowned.
- Maisel Synagogue. Built at the end of the sixteenth century, it went up in flames in the ghetto fire of 1689. It was quickly rebuilt in a Baroque style and at the end of the nineteenth century, it was reconstructed in a Neo-Gothic form.
- Spanish Synagogue. Erected in 1868, the Spanish Synagogue owes its name to the Moorish interior design, very similar to the famous Alhambra in Spain. The synagogue houses an exhibition on the life and history of Jews from Bohemia.
- Klausen Synagogue. Founded in 1694, it is the biggest of the six synagogues. The temple features a large collection of Hebrew texts to acquaint visitors with the sources of Judaism, for example, the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud.
- The Maisel Synagogue
- The Spanish Synagogue
- The Pinkas Synagogue
- The Old Jewish Cemetery
- The Ceremonial Hall
- The Klausen Synagogue
- The Old-New Synagogue
- The Jerusalem Synagogue, A.K.A. The Jubilee Synagogue
- Visiting The Synagogues of Prague
- Visitor Information
Originally built in 1592, rebuilt in 1689 after a fire, and renovated in 1893-1905, the Maisel Synagogue is devoted to Jewish history in Bohemia and Moravia up to the 1780s. This is the most “museum-like” synagogue of Prague, in that it displays historical objects but also allows visitors to explore documents through touchscreens.
The Spanish synagogue is by far the most ornate of the Prague synagogues, and it’s also the newest. Built in 1868, the interior is done in a “Moorish” style. Display cases around the ground floor and upstairs in what was once the women’s section tell the story of the Jews in Moravia and Bohemiafrom the 1780s on. It is a history of increasing civil rights and increasing assimilation, and of prominent members of the community like Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka. The story ends with the Terezin ghetto, the Holocaust, and, briefly, Jewish history since 1945. Upstairs is an exhibit of silver from synagogues in Prague and the rest of Bohemia and Moravia. Also explained here is the history of the Prague Jewish Museum itself. Many of the objects in the museum’s collection came from synagogues that the government tore down at the turn of the 20th century. Urban renewal and improvement of sewage and other services meant destroying the dilapidated Jewish ghetto in Prague. The museum closed down...
The Pinkas synagogue, dating from 1535, was made into a Holocaust memorial in the 1950s. The Soviet invasion in 1968 closed it down, but with the fall of the Soviet Union, and after a renovation, it was reopened in 1995. I found this to be a very moving memorial. Not much is left of the original synagogue besides the building itself, the bima(the raised section in the middle where the torah was read), and the torah ark. Instead, the walls are covered with names: almost 80,000 names of the Bohemian and Moravian Jews who died in the Holocaust. So many names, covering all of the walls. It gave me an overwhelming understanding of the sheer number who were killed. And if 80,000 is this many, how can you ever understand 6 million? Upstairs, I couldn’t help but cry. There, in cases, hung dozens of pictures drawn by children at Terezin ghetto, where most of the Jews from this area were imprisoned before deportation. The community tried to maintain a sense of normalcy at Terezin, for the chi...
Next to the Pinkas Synagogue is the Old Jewish Cemetery. The people buried here are not victims of the Holocaust, who have no graves. This cemetery is far older, used by the Jewish community from 1439 to 1787. Because the city would not allow the Jews to expand the cemetery, they had to improvise. To deal with their cemetery’s overcrowding, the Jews of Prague simply buried their dead on top of earlier graves. They would remove the gravestones, add a layer of dirt, and place both the old and the new stone on top. This continued for centuries. For this reason, the graveyard is higher than the surrounding streets, and the 12,000 gravestones crowd and lean against each other. Visitors can walk a path through the cemetery, reading the stones (mostly in Hebrew). Many have decorative details; others, just words.
This neo-Romanesque building (1906) was home to the Prague Jewish community’s burial society. Their meeting room was upstairs, while downstairs was where the traditional washing of the dead took place. Paintings from the 1700s show the steps of the ritual. If the rituals around the Jewish tradition of preparing and washing their dead interest you, you can learn about them in detail in the Ceremonial Hall. It was certainly more than I wanted to know! If you’re in the planning stage of your visit to Prague, use the map below to find accommodations!
This synagogue was one of the most important and largest of the Prague synagogues. Today, as part of the Prague Jewish Museum, it houses an exhibit on Jewish traditions. I just skimmed the displays, since most of the objects were familiar to me, but it would be useful for anyone who doesn’t know the basics of Jewish rituals and beliefs. As I was wandering through this synagogue, a man nearby, clearly an Orthodox Jew, judging from his clothing, began to sing. It was Hebrew so I don’t know if it was a standard prayer, or a song of mourning, or what. He sang softly, to himself, and I think he wasn’t aware that anyone was listening. I found the sad notes of the song charming, and wonderfully appropriate to the bittersweet feeling of this museum.
The only active synagogue remaining in what used to be the Jewish ghetto, the Old-New Synagogue is also the oldest, dating from the 13thcentury. It was always the most important, even after the addition of other synagogues in Prague. Looking like it would have in the Middle Ages, with a bima in the center, this building has the most atmosphere of all of the synagogues. Perhaps this has to do with the medieval architecture: vaulted stone ceilings and gothic arches. Or perhaps it’s the fact that it’s still in active use. The male congregants, traditionally, sat or stood along the walls. The female members were in an adjacent room, listening through an opening in the wall.
If you’re counting, you’ll see that while I said five synagogues, this the sixth that I’m listing. The Jerusalem Synagogue is not part of the Jewish Museum collection. It was built in 1905-6 in the Moorish style, like the Spanish Synagogue, and has been in continous use, except for the war period, when it was used to store stolen Jewish property. I haven’t been inside because when I visited it in February 2020, it was closed for renovation, but I’ve heard it is as beautiful inside as outside. Like the Old-New Synagogue, this one is in active use. It’s away from the others, on the other side of the old city.
A clever solution to the question of how to present a Jewish museum, the decision to use the five remaining synagogues in the old Jewish quarter to house the collection was brilliant. Each building is, in effect, a different wing of the museum. Except for the Old-New Synagogue, they’re not active synagogues anymore, and it would be a shame to convert them to some unrelated use. I would certainly recommend visiting the synagogues in Prague, as well as the Old Jewish Cemetery. If you don’t have time for them all, see the Old-New Synagogue because it’s so old and atmospheric. See the Spanish Synagogue because it’s beautiful. If you don’t know much about Judaism, go to the Klausen Synagogue. And in any case stroll around the cemetery, just because it’s so unusual. If you can, at least walk by the outside of the Jerusalem Synagogue as well.
You can buy tickets at the Information and Reservation Centre (Maiselova 38/15), the Spanish Synagogue (Vězeňská 1), the Klausen Synagogue (U Starého hřbitova 3a) or the Pinkas Synagogue (Široká 3).
It takes two admission charges to see all of the elements of the Jewish Museum: 1. The price to see the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the cemetery, the Klaus Synagogue and the Ceremonial Hall is CZK350 (about €13.50/$16) for adults, CZK250 (€9.50/$11.50) for children 6-15. 2. To see just the Spanish Synagogue, the price is CZK120 (€4.50/$5.50) for adults, CZK80 (€3/$3.50) for children. Other tickets are also available: 1. The price to see the cemetery, the Old-New Synagogue and the...
The Jewish Museum in Pragueis open daily except Saturdays and Jewish holidays: November-March 9:00-16:30; April-October 9:00-18:00. The Old-New Synagogue is open daily except Saturdays and Jewish holidays: November-March 9:00-17:00; April-October 9:00-18:00. On Fridays it closes an hour before Sabbath begins, which varies depending on the length of the day. The Jerusalem Synagogue: Jeruzalémská 1310/7. Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10:00-17:00 and Friday 10:00 until two hours before sunset. Have you...
- Klaus Synagogue. The Klaus Synagogue is located next to the Old Jewish Cemetery and Old Ceremonial Hall. It houses a permanent exhibition detailing Jewish customs and traditions in traditional Jewish families - including birth, bar mitzvah, weddings, etc.
- Maisel Synagogue. The Maisel Synagogue was founded in 1590 by the Mayor of Jewish Town. Like many buildings in Prague, it was damaged by fire so today's look is different from the original.
- Spanish Synagogue. The Spanish Synagogue is one of the newest parts of the Jewish Quarter and is a remarkable contrast to other parts of the area. It was built in 1868 in a Moorish style with incredible interior designs that include Islamic motifs.
- Old Jewish Cemetery. If you don't have much time, make a point to at least visit this cemetery. It's startling scene will last with you for a long while.
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On the site of the oldest Prague Jewish house of prayer called the "Old School", the Spanish synagogue was built in 1868 in Moorish style by Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann and Josef Niklas. From 1836 to 1845 František Škroup, composer of the Czech national anthem, worked as the organist at the Old School.
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