|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 constructed in the early Gothic style by stone-masons from the royal workshop who were working on the nearby St. Agnes Convent.
Originally known as the New Synagogue or Great Shul, its name was changed in the 16th century to the Old-New Synagogue (Altneuschul) to distinguish it from the newer synagogues springing up around it in the Jewish Ghetto.
The synagogue was built in stone to a rectangular design. Its most noticeable feature is a high saddle roof, 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 remains the main house of prayer to the present day - religious services are still held regularly at the synagogue.
The Old-New Synagogue is the only significant building in the Jewish Quarter that is not part of the Jewish Museum. A separate entry ticket is required to visit, which can be purchased on the day.
Tours that visit the Old-New Synagogue:
Jewish Quarter Tour
Old Town & Jewish Quarter Tour
Prague Explorer Tour + Boat Trip
Prague City & Castle Tour + Boat Trip
Prague Historical Centre & Castle Tour.