Jewish Museum Of Prague: Best Tips For Visiting In 2024

The Jewish Museum of Prague (in Czech, Židovské Muzeum) is a group of religious temples and other places of cultural interest located in the Old Town (in Czech, Staré Město), one of the historic districts of the city of Prague – more specifically in Josefov, the Jewish quarter of the Czech capital!

Scattered across five adjacent streets, the exhibits at the Jewish Museum of Prague can be visited in five synagogues – Pinkas Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Old-New Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue, and Spanish Synagogue – as well as the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Ceremonial Hall!

So, do you want to know more about the Jewish Museum Of Prague: Best Tips For Visiting In 2024? Keep reading!

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Jewish Museum of Prague
Jewish Museum of Prague

Brief History of the Jewish Museum of Prague

O Museu Judaico de Praga foi constituído em 1906 pelo Doutor Salomon Hugo Lieben e o Doutor Augustin Stein, com o objetivo de documentar a história, costumes e tradições judaicas das terras checas, assim como de preservar artefactos de sinagogas de Praga demolidas no início do século XX.

The Jewish Museum of Prague was established in 1906 by Doctor Salomon Hugo Lieben and Doctor Augustin Stein, to document the Jewish history, customs, and traditions of the Czech lands, as well as preserve artifacts from Prague synagogues demolished at the beginning of the century XX.

Prague is one of the oldest and most prominent Jewish centers in Central Europe. For this reason, it’s no wonder that the Jewish Museum of Prague is one of the most visited museums in the city. In fact, its collection is one of the largest in the world, with around 100 thousand books and 40 thousand objects!

How to Get to the Jewish Museum of Prague

The Jewish Museum of Prague is very close to other points of interest such as the Old Town Square (300 meters), the Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia (350 meters), the Orloj (350 meters), the Church of Our Lady in front of Týn (400 meters), and the Powder Tower (800 meters).

Due to its excellent location in the Old Town district of Prague, the Jewish Museum of Prague is served by several types of public transport: metro (line A, Staroměstská station), tram (lines 17, 27, or 93, Právnická Fakulta stop), and bus (lines 194 or 207, Právnická Fakulta, U Staré Školy, or Staroměstská stops).

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

The Jewish Museum of Prague is open from Sunday to Friday, from 9 am to 4:30 pm (from January to March, and in November and December), or from 9 am to 6 pm (from April to October), The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time. Apart from Saturdays, the museum isn’t open on Jewish holidays.

As far as tickets are concerned, they cost 500 CZK (normal fare), 370 CZK (students under 26 years old), or 180 CZK (children aged 6 to 15 years old), while those under 6 years old are free of charge. But you can find all the practical information on the official website of the Jewish Museum of Prague!

What to See at the Jewish Museum of Prague

Pinkasova Synagoga

The Pinkas Synagogue (in Czech, Pinkasova Synagoga) is the second oldest and best-preserved synagogue in Prague, dating back to 1535. With late Gothic and Renaissance elements, its construction is due to Aharon Meshulam Horowitz, an influential member of the Jewish Community from Prague.

Converted into a memorial in the 1950s, the Pinkas Synagogue was closed to the public from the Soviet invasion of 1968 until the fall of the communist regime in 1995. Today, its walls display the names of almost 80,000 victims of the Holocaust, from the regions of Bohemia and Moravia.

On the first floor of the Pinkas Synagogue, a permanent exhibition features drawings of Jewish children imprisoned in the infamous Terezín Ghetto during World War II. These children’s works were led by the Austrian artist and educator Friedl Dicker-Brandeis.

Starý Židovský Hřbitov

The Old Jewish Cemetery (in Czech, Starý Židovský Hřbitov) is one of the oldest and best-preserved Jewish cemeteries not only in Europe but also in the world. Furthermore, it’s considered one of the most important sites in the Jewish Town of Prague, along with the Old-New Synagogue.

Founded in the first half of the 15th century, the Old Jewish Cemetery houses more than 12 thousand tombstones, many of which decorated with animal and plant motifs. Interestingly, the first grave dates back to 1439, while the most recent is from 1787!

The Old Jewish Cemetery is the final resting place of the Maharal of Prague or Judah Loew ben Betzalel, a Polish mathematician and philosopher who served the Jewish Community of Prague for much of his life in the 16th century as Rabbi Loew.

Klausová Synagoga

The Klausen Synagogue (in Czech, Klausová Synagoga) is the largest synagogue in the Jewish City of Prague and was also the second main synagogue of the Jewish Community of Prague for several centuries. You can find it just a few meters away from the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Ceremonial Hall.

Built in the early Baroque style in 1694, the Klausen Synagogue is housed on the site of a former yeshivah, a traditional Jewish educational institution focused on the study of rabbinic literature. This had been established by the celebrated Rabbi Loew.

The permanent exhibition at the Klausen Synagogue is called “Jewish Customs and Traditions” (in Czech, “Židovské tradice a zvyky”) and includes furniture and objects related to Judaism, Jewish worship, the Sabbath, and other Jewish holidays and religious celebrations.

Obřadní Síň

The Ceremonial Hall (in Czech, Obřadní Síň) was erected between 1906 and 1908 for the Prague Funeral Society, which also used the nearby Klausen Synagogue as a place of prayer. This renowned religious and social institution was established by Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi in 1564.

Until the end of the First World War, this neo-Romanesque style building served as a Jewish morgue, incorporating a room for the ritual washing of the dead on the first floor and the hall of the Prague Funeral Society itself on the second floor.

After joining the Jewish Museum in Prague in 1926, the Ceremonial Hall became its primary exhibition site until 1940. Today, it houses the continuation of the permanent exhibition “Jewish Customs and Traditions”, featuring works and relics linked to Prague and the Czech lands.

Staronová Synagoga

The Old-New Synagogue (in Czech, Staronová Synagoga) is the oldest monument in the Jewish City of Prague and the oldest synagogue in continuous activity in Europe. This is because its origins date back to the 1280s, when it was built in the Gothic style!

The Old-New Synagogue has been the main synagogue of the Jewish Community of Prague for over 700 years. Naturally, it began to be called the New or Great Synagogue, having received its current name in the 16th century with the appearance of other synagogues in the city.

Legend has it that the Old-New Synagogue houses in its attic the remains of Golem, a mystical creature made of clay that came to life at the hands of Rabbi Loew. Another popular myth says that its cornerstones were brought by angels from the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem.

Maiselova Synagoga

The Maisel Synagogue (in Czech, Maiselova Synagoga) was founded in 1592 as a private temple by Mordecai Maisel, the president of the Jewish City of Prague at the time. The work was made possible thanks to the support granted by Emperor Rodolfo II.

Designed in the Renaissance style by Judah Tzoref de Herz and Josef Wah, the Maisel Synagogue was a religious temple with three naves, an unusual feature for the time. However, its current neo-Gothic style is the result of a reconstruction carried out between 1893 and 1905.

The Maisel Synagogue’s permanent exhibition is called “Jews in the Bohemian Lands, 10th-18th Centuries” (in Czech, “Židé v českých zemích, 10.-18. století”) and features rare collectibles and touch screens, which let you examine Hebrew manuscripts and historical maps!

Španělská Synagoga

The Spanish Synagogue (in Czech, Španělská Synagoga) is the most recent synagogue in the Jewish City of Prague, having been built in 1868. An interesting detail to highlight is the fact that František Škroup, the composer of the Czech national anthem, was a resident organist here from 1836 to 1845!

Its name is an allusion to the neo-Moorish style that adorns its interior and which is reminiscent of the Alhambra of Granada, in Spain. While Josef Niklas and Jan Bělský were in charge of the exterior design, Antonín Baum and Bedřich Münzberger were responsible for the interior decoration.

The permanent exhibition at the Spanish Synagogue is entitled “Jews in the Bohemian Lands, 19th-20th Centuries” (in Czech, “Židé v českých zemích, 19.-20. století”) and covers history since the reforms of Emperor Joseph II in the 1780s until the period after the Second World War.

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