U Staré školy 141/1, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czechia
15:00 - 16:30
A fascinating museum and one of the most visited in the country, the Jewish Museum in Prague tells the blustery story of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia. More than any, the museum is a reminder of a glorious community with a long and tragic history that suffered great losses and unbearable grief. Especially during the dreadful times of World War II, when almost 80,000 Jews from Bohemia and Moravia were murdered in the holocaust. The museum was founded by the historian Salomon Hugo Lieben and city councilor August Stein in 1906. This early establishment makes the museum one of the oldest Jewish museums in all of Europe. The original purpose was to become a home and a safe shelter for items belong to synagogues that been destroyed at the Ghetto demolition. In 1939, when the Nazis march into Czechoslovakia, the Jews understood the urgency of saving historical, holy, and daily-life Jewish books, documents, objects, and artifacts of annihilated Jewish communities. They have negotiated with the Nazis on creating what will become in 1942, to the "Central Jewish Museum". With hard work under the baleful eye of the Nazis, the art historian Josef Polák and his team saved much as they could. Many of those items were the only and last remnant of lost lives. Their impossible work is the ground upon the Jewish Museum in Prague is operating as the largest Jewish museum in Europe. It hosts almost 40,000 Judaica items and 100,000 books, pictures, documents, art, textile, and much more items that belonged to people that their lives threads were brutally cut.
The main site of the Museum takes place at a building that used to serves as a hospital for the Jewish community. However, the museum supervised most of the prominent places in the former Jewish Town, including:
The Old Jewish Cemetery
One of the must-visit cemeteries in the world, which contains approximately 12,000 remarkable gravestones (see full guide for more information).
Built during 1868 on the location of the oldest Ghetto's synagogue, Altschul, which was founded in the 12th-century. The newest synagogue of all the six that remains is engaging and entrancing due to its Neo-Moorish architecture and a lavish golden interior. Inspired by the design of the Alhambra in Spain, the synagogue named "Spanish" and serves as a place of prayer for the Reform congregation.
Jewish Ceremonial Hall
When a Jew passes away, there are several rituals, including washing and dressing the deceases, which must be taken before their loved ones will pay last respect and escort them to their last resting place. The Jewish Ceremonial Hall which is located right next to Old Jewish Cemetery was the place that the Prague Burial Society used as a mortuary. Founded in 1908, the Neo-Romanesque structure was in regular use until World War I and in 1926 integrates with the Jewish Museum. Today, the two-floor building presents an exhibition that is focusing on the history of Chevra kadisha (Burial Society), rituals and customs that Jews are performing before burial and after.
The Klausen is a Baroque synagogue that was built in 1694 and is the largest synagogue in the Jewish Quarter. It considered the second in importance at the Ghetto and today displays holy texts in Hebrew, explanations about the Synagogue, Jewish household, family, daily life, religious practice, and rituals.
Established in 1592 by Mordecai Maisel, a leader and the Jewish Town mayor as a Renaissance temple. During the Ghetto great fire in 1689, the Synagogue on its three naves was destroyed. It was re-built a few times and receives its final Neo-Gothic structure in 1893-1905. The Maisel Synagogue presents a moving multimedia and artifacts exhibition engaged in the Jews in the Bohemian Lands from the 10th until the 18th Century.
An early 16th-century Gothic synagogue established by one of the community leaders, Aaron Meshulam Horowitz, and originally serves as his family place of prayer and worship. Restored during the 1950s, the synagogue becomes a memorial to the almost 80,000 Czech Holocaust victims and is also displaying touching exhibitions including Children's Drawings from the Terezín Ghetto during World War II.
Robert Guttmann Gallery
A lovely gallery that was named after the Jewish Czech painter, Robert Guttmann, and opened in 2001. The Gallery display alternate exhibitions of visual art and artifacts taken from Jewish museum's collections and deal with Jewish culture, daily life, torment during the World War II and more.