Maisel Synagogue, Prague

Maisel Synagogue, Prague

South of the New Old Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, you will find the Maisel Synagogue which today belongs to the Jewish Museum and, just as many other buildings in Prague, is used as an exhibition hall.

Set on 20 pillars, the synagogue was built in 1592 by Josef Wahl as a private place of prayer for Mordechai Maisel, the rich philanthropist who also commissioned the Klausen and High synagogues and the Jewish Town Hall. It is also the first synagogue in Prague to be open to women.

Originally styled as Renaissance, the synagogue was badly damaged during the Great Fire of 1689, upon which it was rebuilt with a Baroque façade. The current Neo-Gothic façade dates to the late 19th century.

The inside exhibition recounts history of the Jewish settlement in the Czech lands, featuring artefacts from the 10th and 11th centuries, including Czech dinars. Medieval and early modern settlement exhibits contain manuscripts relating to the persecution of Czech Jews and anti-Semitism in Europe. On the central platform of the main nave there is a stunning display of synagogue's silver including a Levite laver and basin made in 1702 by Jan Jiri Lux. You will also see Bohemian and Moravian synagogue curtains and manuscripts of the works of 12th-18th century scholars.

It is quite ironical to realize that most of the precious artefacts on display here now have been brought to Prague by the Nazis themselves.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Prague. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Maisel Synagogue on Map

Sight Name: Maisel Synagogue
Sight Location: Prague, Czech Republic (See walking tours in Prague)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Prague, Czech Republic

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