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The Old-New Synagogue, Prague

(440+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Historic Site
It is said that the body of golem lies in the attic of The Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe and one of city's earliest Gothic buildings. Notice the ark (an ornamental closet) in the middle of the eastern wall, in which the Torah sacred scrolls are kept. The Hebrew biblical abbreviations cover the interior walls. Look for a large red flag with a Star of David stitched in gold near the west pillar. Legend has it that angels brought building stones for the synagogue from the temple in Jerusalem "on condition" that they'd be returned when the Messiah comes. The Hebrew al tnay, which means on condition, sounds identical to the Yiddish alt-nay--or old-new--hence the synagogue's name. Use our Prague tour planner to add The Old-New Synagogue and other attractions to your Prague vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is the oldest synagogue in Europe and a great example of early gothic building in Prague. I have to admit to given its rich history and the fact that it still the religious centre for the Jewish ...  more »
  • This is an important site and interesting to go in and look around, but it is small and quickly feels cramped with other tourists since it's a popular location.  more »
  • This synagogue, built in the 13th Century and still active today, is a solemn reminder of what Jewish Life was like over the centuries. It is sparse and yet beautiful -- without the ornamentation foun...  more »
Google
  • Cost and stinginess by far outweigh the experience. Honestly I don't feel it is worth spending the entrance fee. Yes I did learn about history and some of Jewish customs and culture. What bothered me are (1) they don't accept a credit card (what? even a tiny store in Czech accepts for 50 crown). Why? I don't know. All that I can imagine is that the synagogue thinks that visitors will come no matter how unfriendly it is (2) two seemingly popular sites (Old and Cemetery) cannot be combined unless you pay 500 for all the sites. Compare this practice with Castle: the most popular 4 sites belong to one ticket. I feel that I am taken advantage by the ticketing scheme. After all, one can visit synagogues other places in the world; you can learn about the history of Czech Jews without visiting these. Wish I had read the google reviews before squandering my wallet.
  • Honestly speaking, if you are not really interested in the religion, there is almost nothing to see here. There are certain features of this synagogue that are remarkable, including the five-rib vaulting and a famous rabbi's chair. But it is difficult for a tourist like me to appreciate it since I certainly lack related religious experience and know almost nothing about the Jewish religion.
  • You will enjoy it only if you're into European Jews history.
  • It is a small place to see and understand more about this religion. It is somewhat on the expensive side in terms of pricing though but it is alright as an experience. And please do turn off your flash when you take photos in this place. The person at the door have already told everyone to off the flash but some people are just so ignorant or egoistical that they do not off it and it is such an eyesore. It is already a small place and we want a decent visit without your flashes. Thank you.
  • Interesting historic building, and a very old but still operating synagogue. Limited informative signage, so either take a guide book or fork out for the audio guide.