|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.
As well as hosting regular services, the synagogue houses a permanent exhibition, Jews in the Bohemian Lands, which chronicles the history of the last 200
years of the Jewish people in the area.
Under both Nazi and Communist rule, the Spanish Synagogue was neglected, fell into a sorry state, and was eventually closed.
In the latter part of the 20th century, the Jewish Museum took control and began work on its renovation. The entire restoration project was only truly completed in December 2020.
The Spanish Synagogue is now a beautiful building once more, which you can visit by purchasing a ticket for the Jewish Museum (the ticket gains you entrance to other Jewish Quarter monuments too).
Alternatively, visitors can go on a Jewish Quarter Tour.
To discover more about the Spanish Synagogue, take a tour:
Jewish Quarter Tour
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip
Prague Explorer Tour & Boat Trip.