The Synagogues of Europe
 Czech Republic

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Below you will find a series of postcards that depict various synagogues that currently or once stood in Europe. Most of these photographs have been purchased, taken, or otherwise obtained by those visiting these towns and cities, and they have been subsequently submitted to the Museum to be placed online.  Some of these synagogues might still be extant, i.e. still being used as synagogues, but others lay abandoned and perhaps in a state of disrepair, or are currently being used for other purposes. Some have been restored.

Current town names are used to indicate the location of each synagogue.

The Museum welcomes further submissions, as this exhibition is forever ongoing and evolving. Please include the name of the country, town/city, synagogue (if known), and the month and year the photo was taken.

Please click on the thumbnail photos to see the enlarged versions.
Doudleby nad Orlici , Czech Republic (2010) *

This building once served as the synagogue of this town.



* -- older photograph of synagogue interior.

Plzeň, Czech Reublic (2004 and 2006)
known as Pilsen c. 1900 when it was part of the Galicia and the Austrian Empire.

From Wikipedia.
The "great synagogue" in the city of Plzeň, Czech Republic. third largest synagogue in the world.
Hochschul (High Synagogue)


Photo bottom left undated, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Old synagogue; oldest synagogue in the world


Spanish Synagogue
built in 1868

According to Wikipedia:

The Spanish Synagogue (Hebrew
: בית הכנסת הספרדי‎, Czech: Španělská synagoga, German: Spanische Synagoge) is a Moorish Revival  synagogue built in Prague in 1868 to the design of Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann. The facade copies the form of the Leopoldstädter Tempel, built in Vienna, Austria, in 1853, a tripartite facade with a tall central section flanked by lower wings on each side. As in Vienna, the central section is topped by a pair of domed turrets.

The synagogue is most remarkable for the elaborate style of the interior, every surface is covered by elaborate Islamic-style polychrome and gilded patterns, some painted and some carved or molded.

During the Second World War, the Germans used the building as a repository for property taken from the Jews. The building underwent a restoration in the late 1990s.

The building is owned by the Jewish Museum of Prague, and is used as a museum and concert hall.

Despite its name, the synagogue was never used by a Spanish or Sephardic congregation: it was in fact an early Reform temple. There are two theories to account for the synagogue's name.

The Moorish architectural style may have been found reminiscent of the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.

The synagogue was on the site of the city's most ancient synagogue, which may originally have been used by Byzantine Jews. Some awareness of this fact may have given rise to the legend of a historic Sephardic community.








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