|The Spanish Synagogue (panělská synagoga) in Prague is often described as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe.
Set in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, it is an impressive sight from the outside, and stunning from within.
The Spanish Synagogue
was constructed in 1868 on the site of the oldest Jewish house of prayer in Prague, the Old Shul, which was demolished in 1867.
The synagogue was designed in a Moorish style by the Renaissance Revival architect Vojtěch Ignátz Ullmann. Its interior, including the stained glass windows, was designed by Baum and Munzberg, and completed in 1893.
It is built to a regular square plan with a large dome surmounting the central space. Galleries on three sides open onto the nave.
The remarkable interior decoration includes low stucco arabesque of stylized Islamic motifs, applied to the walls, doors and gallery balustrades.
Under Nazi and Communist rule, the Spanish Synagogue was neglected and fell into a sorry state, and was eventually closed.
At the end of the 20th century, the Jewish Museum took control and began work on restoring it. This lengthy project was finally completed in 2020.
In addition to hosting regular religious services, the Spanish Synagogue houses a permanent exhibition, 'Jews in the Bohemian Lands', which chronicles the past 200 years of the Jewish people in the area.
Following renovation, the Spanish Synagogue is a beautiful building once more. You can enter it by purchasing a ticket for the Jewish Museum, which also includes admission to other historic monuments in the Jewish Quarter.
Alternatively, book the Jewish Quarter Tour, which includes a visit to the synagogue.
In the evening, the Spanish Synagogue becomes a comfortable and accessible venue for classical music concerts.
In winter, the Spanish Synagogue is heated, but it is still advisable to wear warm clothing for concerts.
View listings and book Prague concert tickets.
To explore the sights in Prague, take a Prague tour.