Spanish Synagogue, Prague

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Spanish synagogue

    by Raimix Updated Jan 31, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Spanish synagogue name is nothing associated here with traditional Spain, but with Moorish style of synagogue’s interior, more or less Arabic feature, applied in Spain as well. The synagogue was built in 1868 on the site where Jewish school was standing.

    It is actually only the one synagogue in Prague, where I saw interior and museum inside. Interior is really interesting, much decorated, oriental style. The museum exhibits are about the life of Jews in the Czech Republic.

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  • hundwalder's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue and jewish museum

    by hundwalder Updated Jun 3, 2008

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    Spanish Synagogue and jewish museum

    The Spanish Synagogue is the newest of Prague's five synagogues. Construction was started in 1868. The name of this synagogue has nothing to do with its origins. The architectural style is heavily influenced by the Moorish palaces and mosques built in the southern coastal region of Spain, and it looks very much like the Alhambra palace. You could say that it is a Jewish place of worship with islamic architecture, which definately has a contradictory sound to it. Interesting indeed !

    The workmanship of the stained glass windows is superb. The simple but beautiful geometric designs and floral patterns are harmoniously blended into this masterpiece of a building. The interior is a fascinating stuccoed arabesque design. The large 8 lobed design in the upper central portion of the front exterior wall is a likeness of ten commandments tablets.

    This synagogue no longer serves as a house of worship, but instead houses the greatest part of the Praha Jewish museum. It is located near the east edge of Josefov ( Jewish Quarter ), about 200 meters due north of old town square.

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  • MLW20's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by MLW20 Written Oct 30, 2006

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    The Spanish Synagogue is the most impressive to look at once inside. It has lots of gold color and an organ on the second floor.

    There is also alot of information on Jews in Prague from the 18-20th century.

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue ( 5 photos)

    by nicolaitan Written Oct 7, 2006

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    The Spanish Synagogue, last in the Jewish Museum tour, is unquestionably the most spectacular. The decor is inspired by Spanish and Moorish archictecure and decoration, most notably the Alhambra, as many of Prague's Jews were descendants of Spanish Jews expelled during the Inquisition. In keeping with Islamic tradition, only geometric figures are used - no human or animal forms. The ceilings are covered in bright red, green, and blue with gold margins, images of the Star of David. The walls are purple with gold trim. As this is a Reform synagogue, there is no central prayer stand. Horseshoe mudejar arches surround the torah arc and the organ. The exterior is similarly Moorish with a large central dome, smaller domes along the edges, and horeshoe mudejar arches.

    Construction began in 1868 with the freedoms brought about by creation of the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire. This building is an example of the new freedom and the assimilation of the Jews into their milieu, which would last for 70 years prior to the Nazi takeover. It is on the site of Prague's first synagogue.

    The historical displays are on the second floor with minimal signage - the museum here details life from the Mid-19th Century through the Nazi and Communist periods to the new freedoms and renovation of the buildings housing the museum. The synagogue was closed for 20 years and re-opened in 1998 on the 130th Anniversary of its construction.

    The included images display the interior and exterior of this beautiful synagogue.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Synagogue

    by lina112 Updated Aug 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Was built in 1868 on the site of the oldest Prague Jewish house of prayer ian a Moorish style from the design of vojtech Ignatz ullmann. The synagogue has a square ground plan with a cupola above the central area. The gallery is built on an iron structure. The stucco arabesque and stylised orienta motifs of the interior are also applied on the walls and int the adornmente of the doors, balustrades and gallery.

    La sinagoga espanola fue construida en 1868 en el sitio de la sinagoga mas antigua de Praga, su estilo es morisco segun el diseno de Ignátz Ullman. La sinagoga es cuadrada con una cupula sobre el espacio central. La galeria esta construida sobre una estructura de hierro. Los arabescos en estuco asi como los estilizados motivos orientales del interior se repiten en las paredes y en la decoracion de las puertas, las balaustradas y la galeria.

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  • Christina1881's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue ~ Španělská Synagóga

    by Christina1881 Written Jul 21, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Spanish Synagogue

    Our guidebook said: “The Spanish Synagogue is an Alhambra-like building with Neo-Renaissance features, the work of Ignaz Ullman (1864). It contains a history of the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia, after their emancipation to the present day” (“Prague”, 2005, Thomas Cook Publishing)
    Being from the city of Alhambra, we were all wondering how someone could compare a Synagogue with the Alhambra – which for us is AMAZING and BEATIFUL – so of course we had to see for us self it the comparison was true… I won’t tell you what we ended up thinking, I will only add that I am writing this tip, because I find the Synagogue worth visiting Have you seen the Alhambra you can go and see for your self if there is a resemblance…

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  • jo104's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by jo104 Updated Mar 21, 2006

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    This synagogue is wonderfully ornate with a gilded Moorish interior styled on the Alhambra.
    Every surface is covered in floral motifs & geomaetric patterns in vibrant greens, blues reapeated in the huge stained glass windows.

    The museums exhibition is especially interesting on the history of the Prague Jews from the time of the 1781 Edict of Tolerance to the Holocaust.

    Beautiful painted cast iron columns hold up the women's gallery where the displays include a set of photo's depicting the old ghetto at the time of demolition. There is also a section on Prague's German-Jewish writers including Kafka.

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  • danielcv's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Synagogue

    by danielcv Updated Feb 19, 2005
    Rich interiors make the Spanish Synagogue special

    If you dont have a Jewish background, Prague's Jewish district may have less meanings for you. However, if there is one thing that should be visited at the Jewish quarter is the Spanish Synagogue.

    The stunning golden and geometric interiors are definetly worth the visit. The staff would not let me take pictures but I've managed to click a couple of shots - I don't regret it!

    The Jewish cemetery is also worth seing, though a bit gloomy, especially in the winter, when I travelled.

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  • Flamegirl's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by Flamegirl Written Jun 10, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Spanish Synagogue, Prague

    Built in 1868, this synagogue is quite different to the 4 remaining Jewish churches. The style is Moorish, evoking the sunny climes of southern Spain.

    It's worth a look inside to see the arabesque stucco interior.

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  • p_haefeli's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Synagogue - Inside

    by p_haefeli Written May 11, 2004
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    This synagogue is a great building from outside and inside!

    But inside it's even more interesting.

    Besides the awesome walls covered with gold, you will find some interesting facts about World War II.

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  • sandysmith's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by sandysmith Updated Apr 13, 2004

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    Sculpture outside Spanish Synagouge

    The newest of the synagouges in Josefov is the Spanish Synagogue. Its worth a look on the exterior alone for its psedo- moorish architecture - reminded me of parts of the Alhambra Palace in Granada. It stands on the site of the Old Synagogue. Didn't go inside ourselves but its exhibits document the history of the Jews from 19th century to present day. Also there are photos of the ghetto before and after its destruction.

    I was intrigued by this sculpture just near by - a man sitting on thre shoulders of someone else that is faceless. Have now discovered that this is the Franz Kafka memorial. For loads more info on it visit http://www.jaroslav-rona.cz/pomnik_en.html.

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  • Carino's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Synagogue

    by Carino Written Apr 13, 2004

    This Synagogue is just a very awesome place. The walls are covered with gold and paintings.

    On the first floor, you'll find some stuff from WWII. If you understand German, it's even more interessting, as the explanation is not that good.

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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by bpwillet Written Mar 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Spanish Synagogue facade-Josefov

    Built on the site of an older 11th century Jewish school it was for those of the eastern rite. The present day building was completed in 1868 and is decorated in a Moorish style, therefore giving it its name. It houses an exhibition on the history of the Jews in Prague and artifacts from Jews who were sent to concentration camps. There is also an exhibit on ceremonial silver items. Once again no photographs are allowed inside, which is really a shame. But if you visit it you will see why. Again, books and postcards are available for purchase for those of us how are not gifted with photgraphic memories. It is open from 9-6 Sunday-Friday.

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  • ayesh's Profile Photo

    Spanish Synagogue

    by ayesh Written Sep 25, 2003
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    The Spanish Synagogue is one of the many that you can find in the Jewish Quarter. As most of the significant buildings in the quarter it is linked to the rest: in each you will find a different exposition about the life and history of the Jews in Prague. The cooperation means that you can also buy your entrance tickets (for all of these sights) at any of the connected synagogues and therefore don’t have to wait in line for hours at e.g. the Jewish Cemetery.
    The Spanish Synagogue acquired its name because it resembles the architectural style of the Alhambra in Granada and because it was created (in the 19th century) to serve as a refuge for the Jews who were prosecuted by the Spanish Inquisition.
    The inside ceiling is impressively gold colored…

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  • dinhyen's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Synagogue

    by dinhyen Updated Jul 17, 2003

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    The Spanish Synagogue

    The Moorish-influenced Spanish Synanogue blew me away with its spectacular interior. The walls are covered in a mesmerizing maze of intricate, colorful tracings. My biggest gripe: no photos allowed inside! Understandbly the delicate paint may be sensitive to the flashbulbs which many tourists fire at reckless abandon and which they fail to realize would be useless in a situation such as this. Still I couldn't help but feel a little miffed.

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