Spanish Synagogue, Prague

Spanish Synagogue, Prague Czech name: Španělská synagoga The Spanish Synagogue — Španělská synagoga in Czech — is a stunning architectural and design achievement. A Prague sightseeing gem in the city’s Jewish Quarter, the building now serves as both a place of worship and a museum.

Spanish Synagogue¡

Czech name: Španělská synagoga

The Spanish Synagogue — Španělská synagoga in Czech — is a stunning architectural and design achievement. A Prague sightseeing gem in the city’s Jewish Quarter, the building now serves as both a place of worship and a museum.

Location & How to Get To the Spanish Synagogue, Prague

The Spanish Synagogue is at Vězeňská 1, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia — on the corner of Dušní and Vězeňská Streets. The easiest way to get there is by taking the 194 bus and getting off at the Staré školy stop, which is right next to the complex.

The beautiful synagogue was built in 1868 in Moorish style by Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann and Josef Niklas
The beautiful synagogue was built in 1868 in Moorish style by Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann and Josef Niklas

Spanish Synagogue Prague Opening Hours & Entry

The Spanish Synagogue is currently closed because of extensive renovations. A re-opening date has yet to be announced.

However, barring the renovation, the Spanish Synagogue Prague opening hours are between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm every working day of the week, (Mondays to Fridays). However, from the 1st of January till the 29th of March and also from the 27th of October until the 31st of December, every year, the Spanish Synagogue opens by 9:00 am and closes by 6:00 pm.

Spanish Synagogue Prague Ticket Price

Spanish Synagogue, Prague ticket price for admission into the Spanish Synagogue, Prague costs 350 CZK for adults, and about 250 CZK for children between the ages of 6 and 15.  The Spanish Synagogue Prague entrance fee is free however for children younger than the age of 6. Tickets can also be easily booked online on the Prague Ticket Office website.

What to Do & What to See at the Spanish Synagogue Prague, Czech Republic

Elaborately decorated in the Moorish Revival style, the inside is a collage of symmetrical and intricate mosaics piped with tasteful goldwork. Moorish arches and Stars of David are recurring motifs throughout the structure.

Since the Spanish Synagogue Jewish museum in Prague manages the Spanish Synagogue, the building also houses a permanent exhibit exploring the modern history of Jews in the Czech Republic, starting with reforms instituted by the Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II and ending with the Holocaust.

The Spanish Synagogue in Prague is described as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe
The Spanish Synagogue in Prague is described as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe

History of the Spanish Synagogue Prague

Technically, the Spanish Synagogue is the newest Prague synagogue. However, the building stands where the oldest area temple — called Old School or Altshul — once stood. Why was it called Old School? Because in days of old, temples and synagogues were also used as schools. 

In 1867, the community opted to demolish the old building due to structural problems. By 1868, they’d replaced it with a new building — the one that stands today.

Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann, an architect, and Josef Niklas, an interior designer, collaborated on the 1868 plans and paid particular attention to acoustics. Additional rooms were added to the Spanish Synagogue, Prague in 1935, which served as a community hospital and storage facility during World War II. Years after the war, officials finally and rightfully turned the Synagogue back over to the Jewish community. It was once again restored around that time. 

But, the 1970s brought deterioration, and the Spanish Synagogue closed permanently in 1982. After the Velvet Revolution, funds flowed in, and the Spanish Synagogue Jewish museum in Prague plunged into renovations. A formal opening in 1998 proved to be a huge success. 

Behind the Spanish Synagogue is a small park that houses a Franz Kafka statue. On the other side of the park sits the Church of the Holy Spirit, another popular Prague Sightseeing location.

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