|The Old-New Synagogue (Staronová synagoga) is the oldest monument in the Jewish Quarter in Prague, and the oldest active synagogue in Europe.
Completed in 1270, the synagogue was built in the early Gothic style by stone-masons from the royal workshop who were working on the nearby St. Agnes Convent.
Originally it was known as the New Synagogue or Great Shul, but in the 16th century its name changed to the Old-New Synagogue (Altneuschul), to distinguish it from newer synagogues being constructed around it in the Jewish Ghetto.
The synagogue was built in stone to a rectangular design. Its most noticeable feature is the high saddle roof, which is covered in bright orange tiles and capped at both ends with late Gothic gables.
Low level annexes were added to three sides of the building at a later date; these are used as a lobby and a gallery for women.
The interior has a double-nave with six vaulted bays. In the middle of the Eastern wall there is a box for the Torah scrolls.
Legend has it that the foundation stones for the Old-New Synagogue were brought by angels from the destroyed Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, on condition that they are returned when the temple is rebuilt.
Another legend tells us that the body of Golem, a creature made of clay that was brought to life by the Rabbi Loew to protect the Jewish community, lies in the attic.
The Old-New Synagogue has been a house of worship for the Jewish community in Prague for over 700 years, and is their main house of prayer in the present day.
The Old-New Synagogue is the only significant building in the Jewish Quarter that is not part of Jewish Museum in Prague. You need to buy a separate ticket to visit it.
Alternatively, you can take a Jewish Quarter Tour, which includes a visit outside the Old-New Synagogue, where the guide will explain its history and significance (if required, the guide can arrange an entrance ticket for you too).
Visitors are also welcome to attend one of the regular religious services that take place at the Old-New Synagogue.
To discover more about the Jewish Quarter, take a tour:
Jewish Quarter Tour
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip
Prague All Inclusive Tour & Boat Trip.