The Jewish Museum is one of the most visited museums in the Czech Republic and has one of the largest collections of Judaica in the world. There are more than 40,000 collection items, 100,000 books and an extensive archive of Jewish religious communities. The Museum was established already in 1906 on the initiative of August Stein, founder of the Czech Jewish movement. The original purpose of the Jewish Museum was to capture the history, customs and traditions of the Jewish population in Bohemia and Moravia.
Useful information for visitors
Address U Staré školy 141/1, Praha
GPS coordinates: 50.0902706N, 14.4210192E
Public transport connections
The closest public transport stop near the Jewish Museum:
- Vězeňská Street: U Staré školy bus stop (bus 194)
Opening hours and admission
Buildings under the management of Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum manages a number of buildings in the former Jewish ghetto – the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Klausen Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Ceremony Hall of the Prague Funeral Fraternity, the Robert Guttmann Gallery and the Educational and Cultural Center.
Interesting facts about Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum has collections of silver, textiles and antiquities. All the exhibits come from Bohemia and Moravia, which is why the Museum provides visitors with a comprehensive picture of the history, customs and traditions of Jews in this region.
After its establishment in 1906, the original purpose of the Jewish Museum was to preserve the valuables from the vanished synagogues of Prague. During the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Museum served as a depository for keeping the movable property of Jewish communities on the territory of the Protectorate. In this way, a lot of items were collected during the war. There are speculations that the Nazis wanted to establish a museum of ‘an extinct race’ there, but they have never been confirmed.
After the war, there was no one to return the collected property to, and so the Jewish Museum started to operate again in 1945, which was followed by the establishment of a museum library in 1950. Soon after, the complex was nationalized and renamed the State Jewish Museum. However, its activities were questioned and even prevented during totalitarianism. The State did not take care of the buildings and the collections that began to decay. Nevertheless, the Museum began to publish a journal called Judaica Bohemiae in 1965. After 1989, it was returned under the administration of the Jewish community.
Jewish Museum and nearby historical monuments
All significant monuments under the management of the Jewish Museum are to be found nearby, such as the Old Jewish Cemetery as well as a number of interesting synagogues. A visit to the Museum can be combined with a visit to the Church of the Holy Spirit, a walk through the Old Town and Old Town Square itself, which is surrounded by historical buildings, including the Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock.