The neo-Renaissance building of the Spanish Synagogue is one of the most important historical sights of Prague’s Jewish Town. It was completed in 1868 according to the design by Ignác Ullmann and Josef Niklas at the crossroads of Dušní Street and Vězeňská Street, a few metres from the Old Town Square. Although it is the youngest synagogue in Josefov (part of Prague 1), it is considered the most beautiful one due to its spectacular interior decorations in Moorish style. The interior is inspired by Islamic architecture and includes oriental stucco motifs, gilded elements, carved decorations on doors and banisters and coloured stained glass windows. The main hall is topped with a large dome. The synagogue acquired its name after the community of Spanish Jews who settled there after being expelled from the Iberian Peninsula by Queen Isabella I in the 16th century. It was used for worship until 1941. The Nazis used it as a storage facility for items that were confiscated from the Jews.
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Address: Vězeňská 1, Praha 1
GPS coordinates: 50.0902106N, 14.4210133E
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
The closest public transport stops near the Spanish Synagogue:
- Staroměstská tram stop
- Staroměstská metro station (Line A – green line)
- U Staré školy bus stop
OPENING HOURS AND ADMISSION
For up-to-date information about the opening hours of the Spanish Synagogue, visit official website here. To see the interior of the synagogue, visitors can choose from two tours. For information about admission fees, click here.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SPANISH SYNAGOGUE
There are two permanent exhibitions at the Spanish Synagogue. The exhibition called “The History of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia in the 19th and 20th centuries” focuses on the history of the Jewish minority in the Czech lands from the times of Joseph II’s reforms in the 1880s to the post-war period. Attention is paid, for example, to the emancipation of the Jews in Austria-Hungary, to scientists and artists as well as to the Holocaust and the Terezín Ghetto. The second exhibition, called “Synagogue Silver from Bohemia and Moravia”, allows visitors to see more than 200 of the most valuable silver items from the collection of the Jewish Museum.
Concerts of classical music are regularly held at the Spanish Synagogue. Tickets can be purchased, for example, here.
SPANISH SYNAGOGUE AND NEARBY HISTORICAL SIGHTS
When visiting the Spanish Synagogue, there are plenty of other interesting sights nearby to explore, including the Maisel Synagogue, the Old New Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Rudolfinum, the Klementinum, the Old Town Square, the Jan Hus Memorial, the Astronomical Clock, the Bethlehem Chapel, St Salvator Church and many others.