The Spanish Synagogue in Prague is known as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe. Set in the heart of the Jewish Quarter (Josefov)
, it is certainly a stunning sight.
The Spanish Synagogue was built in 1868 on the site of the oldest Prague Jewish house of prayer ("the Old Shul"). It was designed in a Moorish style by Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann. The interior, together with the stained glass windows, were designed by architects A. Baum and B. Munzberg and completed in 1893.
The synagogue has a regular square plan with a large dome surmounting the central space. On three sides there are galleries on metal structures, which fully open onto the nave. The remarkable interior decoration features a low stucco arabesque of stylized Islamic motifs which are also applied to the walls, doors and gallery balustrades.
Under Nazi and then Communist control, the Spanish Synagogue fell into a sorry state, and was eventually closed for over 20 years.
However, in the latter part of the 20th century the Jewish Museum took control of the building and began work on one of its most ambitious projects, the restoration of the synagogue.
The Spanish Synagogue finally re-opened on the 130th anniversary of its establishment. This magnificent building now forms part of the Jewish Museum, plus it is the wonderful setting for early evening classical concerts.
During the winter the interior of the synagogue is heated, but it is advisable to wear warm clothing for the concerts.
For listings and to book tickets for the concerts: Prague concerts
To discover more about the Spanish Synagogue, take a Prague tour:
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour & Boat
Best of Prague Walking Tour
Prague Explorer Walking Tour.