Jewish History in Prague
I knew that Prague housed many Jews in the past and I really wanted to know more about their history since I was visiting the city for the first time. I took a guided tour through the Jewish quarter. The thing I enjoyed about the tour is all the information that I got. I actually remember the stories better when they are personal and related to the location. Only two of the Synagogues hold service. The rest were turned into museums because there are not enough practicing male members in the Jewish community. Luckily, I did the tour on Tuesday, which was the last day before a three day Jewish holiday! Make sure you check the calendar when you are planning you trip. My friends who joined me the next day were force to miss all of these sights because they were closed!
Book your tour: Prague: Jewish Quarter with Admission Tickets
The price includes all the entry tickets and a tour guide for three hours: 1200- 950 czk (might differ based on tour oporeator)
Places included with the tour:
- Old New Synagogue (Europe’s oldest surviving synagogue built in 1270)
- Klausen Synagogue
- Pinkas Synagogue
- Spanish Synagogue
- Old Jewish Cemetery
The tour guide started with the Jewish history from the first settlements until the horrific fate of the Jews during the Second World War. We started with the oldest standing synagogue in Europe that dates back to the 13th century. It's good to see, but not as impressive as you would think. It's on the small site and takes about ten minutes to see. We continued visiting the synagogus and learning so much about them. All of the ones we visited exceot the "Old New Synagogue" have been turned to museums and galleries.
This specific synagogue was one of the major contributors of me booking the tour! I saw some of the photos online and I instantly wanted to go and see it in person. It was stunning in every way. Such great care for details and patterns.
Addition: Jerusalem Synagogue
This was not part of the tour, but I passed by it on another day while I was in Prague. It looked really beautiful from the outside. This one was built to compensate the Jewish people for all their losses.
If you want to know even more about the Jewish history, you can take a day trip to one of the city of Terezín, where sadly a concentration camp existed. I couldn't deal with the amount of sadness of that place, so I didn't go.
Here are two books if you would like to read more about the Jewish History in Prague: