Old-New Synagogue, Prague
It is the oldest working synagogue in Europe and one of Prague’s earliest Gothic buildings (it was built around 1270).
You will certainly be impressed by the Holy Ark from the eastern wall, in which the Torah sacred scrolls are kept and by the Hebrew biblical abbreviations covering the walls.
The Synagogue’s activity has an impressing history of more than 700 years, having been interrupted only between 1941 and 1945 because of the Nazi occupation.
It is now opened for public every day except Saturdays and Jewish Holidays.
The name comes from the fact that when the synagogue was built there already existed one such place of worship, so this one had to be called the New synagogue.
Unfortunately the former old synagogue was later destroyed so, as years passed, it became old.
It is the most famous and oldest synagogue in Prague. Actually it is counted as oldest in Central Europe and oldest functioning synagogue in whole Europe. The temple was built in 1270, from that time it was working till nowadays, with exception of Nazis time (1941 - 1945).
The name of synagogue was logically formed in such way: at constructing time there was already other, older synagogue, so this new was called “New”. Later old one was destroyed and new one naturally started to be called “Old”. This confuse created the name that exist now.
It is now declared as the main synagogue for Prague Jewish community.
the old-new synagogue was built in 1270 and is the oldest synagogue in europe. it is one of the oldest gothic buildings in prague. it was originally called the new synagogue but when the old synagogue was destroyed it became the old-new synagogue.
this synagogue was home to the 16th century golem. rabbi low, the director of the talmudic school was thought to have magical powers. he was supposed to have created the golem from clay. he placed a stone tablet in it's mouth and the figure came to life. the golem went berserk and rabbi low removed the tablet. he hid the golem in the rafters of the old-new synagogue. every gift shop in the jewish quarter sells replicas of this strange little beast.
Built in 1270, the OLD-NEW SYNAGOGUE or Staranova Synagoga, is the oldest Synagogue in Europe where services are still held regularly.
The entrance fee to the Old-New Synagogue was quite steep in my opinion. It was 290 CZK or about $15.00 CDN as compared to most of the churches which charged 50 CZK.
The inside of the Synagogue is constituted by a central room around which there is the entrance, the room for the winter prayer and the room of the women.
The pulpit is surrounded with a railing made in beaten iron in the fourteenth century. On the oriental wall iyou can admire the Sacred Ark where the rolls of the Torah are preserved.
The entrance fees was in 2006 290 CZK for an adult.
The Old-New Synagogue was built in 1270 and it was one of the first Gothic constructions of Prague and the most ancient one to be still in activity in Europe.
The name derives from the fact that this is one of the two synagogues built in the 13th century, in a period in which Praga already had a synagogue; so of the two this is some oldest.
Take the stairs down into the 13th century temple to see it's Gothic interior. It was built in 1270 and is the oldest synagogue in central Europe.
Before entering the synagogue look to your right and you will see two old lockers which was where the Jews stored the money to pay taxes.
Next to the ark, the rabbi's chair remains empty out of respect.
The Temple was one of my favorites due to it's old, gothic design but no pictures were allowed inside the synagogue. ( I actually honored this request although I usually take pics regardless )
The Old-New Synagogue, or Staranova Synagoga, is the oldest in Europe. It was built in 1270. This was the site of a terrible massacre during the Jewish pogrom of 1389, when Jewish families seeking refuge inside the synagogue were murdered by Christian zealots.
Inside, various motifs and symbols are repeated 12 times, to represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
The English name, Old-New, is a misinterpretation of the Hebrew, Al Tnay.
Male visitors must cover their heads before going inside.
There is a place in Prague which is called the Jewish Quarter or Josefov , its lies to the north of Old Town Square. Make sure you dont go early October ( 1st to 4th Oct I think , but reconfirm ) because there is some Jewish festival around the area and all the Synagogues are closed to the public, except Jews.
Why is it called Old New Synagogue
The Old-New Synagogue in Prague has suffered through many catastrophes in its history to become the oldest surviving synagogue in Europe. The synagogue is also known by the names Staronova and more commonly Altneuschul. This name reflects the influence of the German language in Prague which, until 1860, was the country’s official language. It also reflects that fact that the synagogue is the growth of the old synagogue “Altschul”. oAltneuschul synagogue when translated means old new synagogue or temple. “Alt” means old, “ neu” is new, and “schul” is temple or synagogue
One legend says the synagogue was built by emigrants who came from Jerusalem after the Temple was destroyed in the year 70. The legend says that the Jerusalem Jews brought stones from the temple and used them for the foundation of the Old-New Synagogue. By doing this, they believed they were laying upon themselves and the community the condition that when the Messiah came, the building would be torn down and the foundation stones taken back to Zion. According to this legend, the synagogue name was Al-tenai Schul which when translated means “on the condition that synagogue”.
Ok time for a wander around the Jewish town - unless you are intent with visiting all the synagogues inside and seeing their treaures and exhibits then a couple of hours here should be fine.
Be warned that tickets to the synagogues and the jewish cemetry cost 300CZK - but this does not include the Old New Synagogue - this cost an exxtra 200 CZK - a bit steep we thought considering the size of it - we only spent abot 15 mins inside! Men will be given a Jewish cap to wear too.
This synagogue is the oldest in Prague and in Europe - hence a must see for me despite the cost - and its still used by Prague's remaining Jews for worship. Some 56,000 Jews were here in 1939 but now there are only 1,500 or so.
Why the strange name? Well when it was built there was already an Old Synagougew so this one was called the New Synagouge. Then in the 16th century another "New" Synagouge was built so this one was forced to change its name - hence the Old New Synagouge. Ironically enough in the slum clearance of 1900 both the Old and New Synagouges disappeared but the Old New one survived!
One of the earliest Gothic buildings in Europe and easily the oldest synagogue. This synagogue was built in 1270 and is still one of the religious centers of Prague's Jewish population. To enter the synagogue you need to buy a ticket from across the alleyway in the museum shop. The entrance is through a small door and down a small flight of stairs. Pictures are not allowed inside but books and postcards can be purchased. As you walk in, you will notice the central cantors platform which is surrounded in iron. A large red flag hangs from the inside which was used in ceremonies and had to be carried by 8 men. Women were allowed to eventually participate in the services through access windows added to the structure during 18th century rennovations. The wooden seats around the outer ring of the room were for worshippers to participate and some of the more notable scholars and attendees are noted by plaques. Rabbi Low's chair is denoted by a wooden Star of David.
Old/New Synagogue dates back to the middle of the 13th century, which means that this is the oldest synagogue in Central Europe. It survived two big fires. The early Gothic style gives you an idea of how many of the buildings once looked. The synagogue was renovated in the 19th century and is used for religious services. Notice the separation of men and woman: during the service the synagogue itself is reserved for the men, while the women must follow the service through small windows in the wall.
The Old New Synagogue, Europe's oldest remaining Jewish synagogue, is located in Prague's old Jewish Quarter. It was built around 1270.
One block away is the Old Jewish Cemetery. Because the local government of the time did not allow Jews to bury their dead elsewhere, graves were dug to hold 12 bodies vertically. It's one of the most crowded cemetary in the world.
This is the Old New Synagogue of Prague, one of the oldest Synagogues in Europe.
It was built in the 13th century in an interesting gothic style.