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The Jerusalem Synagogue of Prague

On an ordinary street between two ordinary (for Prague) buildings, rests this amazing house of worship: the Jerusalem Synagogue of Prague.

The art nouveau Moorish style synagogue was built between 1905 and 1906. It was designed by Vienna architect and experienced synagogue builder Wilhelm Stiassny and constructed by a team led by Alois Richter. The interior wall paintings and stuccos were crafted by a team led by František Fröhlich.

The synagogue was built as a compensation for dilapidated church buildings demolished by the city. The center of the Western front face is decorated by a Czech and Hebrew inscription:

This is God’s gate, through which the righteous enter. Don’t we all have but one father? Have we not been created by the only God?

The synagogue can seat up to 850. In the Jewish tradition, the side galleries are designated for women, with a separate entrance.

Though known today as the “Jerusalem Synagogue,” named after the street it is on, the official name is the “Jubilee Synagogue (Synagoga Jubilejní). The name was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Franz Joseph I. In 1907, the synagogue passed from the Israelite Synagogue society into the property of the Prague Jewish Community. Worship services have been help continuously ever since, with the exception of the period of Nazi “protectorate.” The German occupation force used the synagogue to store property stolen from Prague’s Jewish residents, many of whom were exiled and murdered.

The synagogue was restored and re-opened to the public in 1996. During renovation work. richly painted ornaments of the Vienna Art Nouveau style were discovered on approximately twenty five square meters of walls and ceiling under the deposits of plaster and layers of old painting.

Jerusalem Synagogue of Prague is at Jeruzalémská 1310/7 Praha.

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Christmas Eve Prague

Six months ago, before the pandemic, Prague observed Christmas Eve. Compared to the orgiastic exhibitionism of the USA’s Christmas, the Czech Christmas is pleasantly low-key. There are lights and shopping and food and drinks, but not to excess. Our walk was interrupted by a heavy rain that combined with the cold to drive us back home and indoors.
Prague Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Prague

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Cold Defiance

The Czech Republic, having successfully controlled the Corona virus, has begun the process of reopening stores, restaurants, and other public spaces. Food (potraviny) and drug stores (lekarny in the Czech Republic) have always remained open. Today, restaurants and pubs could begin serving food and drinks at outdoor tables. Our adopted …

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