Visiting the Jewish sites in Prague, Czech Republic

jewish-sites-in-prague

The city of Prague was home to nearly 100,000 Jews before the start of World War II. Unfortunately the atrocious acts of the Shoah and the time since then has diminished the Jewish population to only 5,000 today.

Luckily the city and Jewish community of Prague has well preserved many of the significant buildings from the hundreds of years of Jewish life before WWII. In our Jewish Travel Guide to Prague, we cover all the best places to visit in the city and beyond.

Old Jewish Town

All the sites in the Old Jewish Town are controlled by the Jewish Museum in Prague. Tickets to visit every site costs CZK 480/adults, or skip the Old-New Synagogue for CZK 300/adults. You can purchase tickets online or when you arrive. Tickets are good for 7 days, so do not feel rushed to visit them all in one day.

Maisel Synagogue

Maiselova synagoga, Praha 1
The Maisel Synagogue was built in 1592, financed by the Mayor of the Prague Jewish Town. It is the prime example of the height of the golden age for the Prague ghetto.

Pinkas Synagogue

Prague Praha 2014 Holmstad flott Navn på Holocaust-ofre på veggen til Pinkas-synagogen names for Holocaust victims at the wall of the Pinkas Synagogue 2
The Pinkas Synagogue was built in 1535 for the family of the famous Horowitz rabbinic line. It now houses a memorial to the nearly 80,000 Jewish victims of the Shoah from Bohemia and Moravia.

Old Jewish Cemetery

Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague

The Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague is an extraordinary view into the Jewish community having to historically live in a confined ghetto. Dating back to the 15th century, 12,000 tombstones represent graves stacked up to 10 deep, due to the limited space in the ghetto.

Klausen Synagogue

The Klausen synagogue is the biggest synagogue in Prague’s Jewish Quarter. It now has an interactive museum about Jewish festivals and customs relating to daily life and life milestones.

Ceremonial Hall

Jewish Ceremonial Hall Prague Czech Rep.jpg
By Jim Linwood

Attached to the Klausen Synagogue is the Ceremonial Hall, the former location of the Prague Burial Society, where bodies were prepared for burial. It is now a continuation of the Klausen Synagogue exposition with details about the customs and ceremonies associated with death and burial.

Spanish Synagogue

Spanish Synagogue Prague

The Spanish Synagogue is the newest, built in 1868 in a moorish style for the Reform congregation. The interior has been restored to its former glory and has an exposition on modern Jewish history in the Czech lands.

Old New Synagogue

Old New Synagogue - Prague
The Old New Synagogue is Europe’s oldest active synagogue. It is home to the folklore legend, Golem of Prague. It might not appear like it from the outside, but the building is well below street level, due to the rising street height over the centuries.

Jerusalem Synagogue

Jubilee Synagogue, Prague, The Czech Republic
The Jerusalem Synagogue, also known as the Jubilee Synagogue, is the only site not part of the Jewish Museum in Prague. It has a very beautiful interior and facade with an eclectic mix of Moorish Revival and art nouveau.

The synagogue is open from April to October, Sunday through Friday, from 11AM to 5PM.

Terezin Concentration Camp

 Terezin Concentration Camp Prgue

One of the most important, yet most heartbreaking parts of any trip to the Czech Republic is an important reminder of what has happened in its history. Terezin became a “model Jewish settlement” for propaganda purposes, including a visit from an investigative commission of the International Red Cross in 1944.

Kosher Restaurants

King Solomon

The King Soloman is the first kosher restaurant in contemporary Prague. The small restaurant has a beautiful ambiance reminding us of Jerusalem and delicious glatt kosher menu.

Dinitz

Dinitz is glatt kosher, located behind the Spanish Synagogue. It provides a more relaxed and family style atmosphere.

Chabad Restaurant

The local Chabad in Prague has two separate restaurant options available, both for meat and dairy dishes. While it was the best priced kosher food in Prague, the location is several blocks out of the way, in comparison to the other restaurants in the heart of the historic Jewish district.

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29 thoughts on “Visiting the Jewish sites in Prague, Czech Republic

  1. This post brings me so many memories, my first day to aprague was devoted to ajewish Prague and the Pinkas Synagogje left a very deep impression on me, mostly after I found the last name of my grandma on the wall… I will never foget that trip. So touching for me, and I intend to go back soon, it was very educative for my kids too, one of them was very young and little by little started to approach the hard subject of the Shoa with this trip, thanks for this post!

  2. One of the things that breaks my heart are that religious gathering places then to be the first to be destroyed during times of war. It is great that these synagogues are still around and can serve as educational spots when they are visited.

  3. Prague is full of so many rich treasures! I think each time you visit you discover some new angle to the city. We have only been once yet, and can’t wait to go back. :)

  4. I absolutely love Prague, and last year I did a walking tour that covered most of the Jewish areas (they have a similar one in Budapest too!), and I absolutely loved it! Such an important inheritance!

  5. These places really tell you a lot about the Jews in Prague. Its always great to discover new cultures and their history. I live in Manchester and have been to the Jewish Museum here. That apart, in Kolkata, India there are still some synagogues which are open but do not find any audiences. I have been to those places as well. Tells a lot about a culture that is slowly fading away.

  6. Wow, I have not been to Prague but hope to go – and want to be able to see some of these Jewish sites for myself. The Jerusalem Synagogue looks very impressive on the outside. The concentration camp is a tough one to visit but I agree, very important to do so.

  7. Never realized how colorful these synagogues are. What a variety here. The journey through this can be really fun and illuminating. Thanks for bring them forth.

  8. I saw the Jerusalem Synagogue when I was in Prague, but never new of the other ones. I am surprised though that there is a “Spanish Synagogue”. Specially because there are no jews in Spain! Interesting post!

  9. This is a really interesting post. It must be very hard to visit somewhere like Terezin, but it is important that we don’t forget this part of history. I love the paintings and detail on the walls in the Spanish synagogue. It looks very ornate.

  10. What a great resource for not just Jewish visitors interested in their history but everyone else as well. So many great sites to consider, and I’ll have to keep this post in mind during my upcoming trip to Prague. Love the practical info included as well!

  11. We did not know that there are so many Jewish sites in Prague. We had a plan to visit the old Jewish Cemetery when in Prague which we could not as it was a Jewish national holiday. The stacked up tombstones are particularly intriguing.

  12. I have missed all the Jewish sites when I visited Prague, many years ago. I didn’t know much about it then, but I would love to return now and learn more about what happened with the jewish population in Prague. It’s a very big part of our history.

  13. The Jerusalem Synagogue is so colourful and beautiful.I love visiting places of worship. I like the idea of a 7 day pass to break up the visits.I have never eaten jewish food and would love to !

  14. I can’t deny the standout beauty of Jubilee Synagogue. So colorful and still proudly standing.. ah if only this building could talk – it might tell us more stories, both heroic and funny.

    For Urban Women

  15. This is such a beautiful post, not just because of the pictures (which are really good) but because you have explored a city which is an important part of world history. I can imagine it must have been heartbreaking for you to visit the concentration camp. Stories of such places need to be told more.

  16. I adore Prague and I think it’s such an underrated destination when it comes to traveling in Europe. However, I’ve never visited The Jewish Sites. Jerusalem Synagogue seems to be very interesting due to its beautiful architecture.

  17. It must have been very emotional visiting Terezin. I know it would have been for me at least. I like that you blogged about this particular experience, as I rarely see posts like this.
    Also – I love colorful architecture, so that photo of the Jubilee Synagogue is so beautiful to me.

  18. All the Synagogues of which you took photos look beautiful, they’re true artworks! I especially like Jerusalem Synagogue, I can’t describe how pretty the colours are. I would love to visit them and also to go to a Kosher restaurant next time I’m in Prague.

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