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The Old-New Synagogue, Prague

2.9
#26 of 74 in Historic Sites in Prague
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 Traveler Rating
456 reviews
Google
3.8
TripAdvisor
  • We had tickets to the Jewish Museum to visit synagogues, cemetery... We did not pay again just for a particular synagogue. They just want to make money and that's a shame
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  • It is the oldest synagogue in Prague, but not worth the money to spend to visit even if it is still an interesting building
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  • There is a special atmosphere. Historically, paramount, currently operating synagogue (so it is closed on Saturdays). The walls are covered with wooden seats and almost to the present day, the fragrances of several decades. Who is interested in this topic, it can be meaningful for this building. Tiny hallway available in the minivan, used in prayer. Separate walk-in (200 Crown), is not in the spirit of Jewish buildings combined (330 Crown).
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  • 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.
  • One of the oldest synagogues in Eastern Europe. Pay to go in if you are interested.
  • 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.

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As one of Europe’s main tourist destinations, Prague offers a selection of accommodations to match its popularity, from luxury hotels to very affordable hostels. For an authentic Prague experience, stay at one of the guesthouses or boutique hotels housed inside the city's historical buildings. You'll find many lodgings concentrated around the most popular sightseeing areas, such as the Old Town, the Lesser Town, and Prague Castle, but there are also a good number of them in other neighborhoods. The best way to make Prague feel like home is to rent a fully furnished apartment.
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