|The Spanish Synagogue (panělská synagoga) in Prague is known as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe. Set in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, it is certainly a stunning sight.|
It was built in 1868 on the site of the oldest Prague Jewish house of prayer ("the Old Shul"), designed in a Moorish style by the Renaissance Revival architect
Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann. Its interior, including the stained glass windows, were designed by Baum and Munzberg, and completed in 1893.
The Spanish Synagogue is built to a regular square plan, with a large dome surmounting the central space. There are galleries on three sides which 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 both Nazi and Communist rule the Spanish Synagogue was neglected, fell into a sorry state, and was eventually closed. However, in the latter part of the 20th century the Jewish Museum took control and began work on its restoration. This large project, spread out over several decades, was only truly completed in December 2020.
The Spanish Synagogue is now a beautifully restored building which people can visit in the daytime by purchasing a ticket for the Jewish Museum (the ticket gains you entrance to several other Jewish Quarter monuments too). Alternatively, visitors can go on a Jewish Quarter Tour.
A permanent exhibition located within the synagogue explains the history of the last 200
years of the Jewish people in the Czech lands.
In the evening, the Spanish Synagogue becomes a wonderful setting for classical music concerts.
During the winter the interior of the Spanish 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 tour:
Jewish Quarter Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour & Boat
Prague All Inclusive Tour & Boat Trip
Old Town & Jewish Quarter Tour.