The Jewish Museum in Prague covers six different historical Jewish sites in the city.
For many centuries through the Middle Ages and up and until World War II, Prague had one of Europe's largest and most thriving Jewish communities.
The Jewish Quarter, called Josefov, is located in central Prague between the Old Town Square and the river Vltava. He is where you can find all of the sites that the museum offers.
These include the Maisel, Spanish, Klausen and Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Ceremonial Hall.
The Maisel Synagogue is located just north of the Old Town Square. Built in 1590 by Josef Wahl and Juda Goldsmied in the Renaissance style, it has experienced a number of renovations in the times since then.
In the late 17th century, the Synagogue was extensively damaged by a fire, and was then rebuilt in the Baroque style. Later at the start of the 20th century, it was again renovated, this time with a Gothic design, which is how the Synagogue stands today.
Today the Maisel Synagogue houses a number of exhibits of Jewish heritage relating to Prague and the Czech Republic.
Built on one of the oldest Jewish prayer sites in the city in 1868, the Spanish Synagogue is especially renowned for its elaborate interior, where almost every surface is covered by Islamic style motifs and patterns.
Today, the Spanish Synagogue is used as a concert hall, as well as for showing exhibits from the Prague Museum.
Located beside the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Pinkas Synagogue was built in 1535 by Aaron Meshullam Horowitz. After World War II, the names of the victims of the Nazis were inscribed onto its walls, although these were removed in Communist times during renovation work.
After the fall of Communism the Synagogue was renovated and the names of the almost 100,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust from the surrounding region were once again added to the walls.
Located right at the entrance to the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Klausen Synagogue dates from the end of the 17th century. Today it houses a permanent exhibition outlining Jewish Customs and Traditions including festivals, everyday life and Jewish rituals.
Previously used as a mortuary, the Ceremonial Hall now houses part of the Jewish Customs and Traditions exhibition from the Klausen Synagogue.
Although entrance price to the Jewish Museum sites is more than many other Prague attractions, it does offer a good insight into the history of the area from a Jewish standpoint. All sites are located in walking distance from each other, and are centrally located in the city center.
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