Old New Synagogue - Prague, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ToRo61
N 50° 05.399 E 014° 25.095
33U E 458385 N 5548797
Old New Synagogue - the oldest surviving synagogue in Europe
Waymark Code: WM1646Q
Location: Hlavní město Praha, Czechia
Date Posted: 05/01/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
Views: 7

The Old New Synagogue in Prague dates back to the 13th century and is the oldest synagogue in the Czech Republic. It is also the oldest surviving synagogue in Europe.
The synagogue is one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in Prague. It consists of a two-nave hall divided by two pillars with a five-part vault. The old synagogue was the main synagogue of the Prague Jewish community. As a result, the most important Jewish personalities, such as Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi and Yehuda Liva ben Bezalel (Rabbi Löw), worked here.
According to legend, the body of a golem (visit link) - a monster created by Rabbi Yehuda Liva ben Bezalel - is hidden in the synagogue's attic.

"It is one of the oldest and most valuable European and World-wide Jewish monuments, the oldest synagogue in central Europe that has been used for divine services continuously since the last quarter of the 13th century, with the only exception of the occupation years 1942 - 1945. It is one of the oldest Gothic monuments in our territory. It is an early-Gothic rectangular massive construction made of stone in the 1270s with high saddle roof with late-Gothic brick gables. It is enlaced from three sides by younger low annex buildings, which are used as a lobby and as a gallery for women. The two-aisle interior, arched via ribbed vaults into two pillars in the middle, gives an impression of an extensive space. In the middle of the Eastern wall, there is a box for the Torah scrolls. In the middle of the synagogue, there is a space for the speaker, enclosed by an iron Gothic grille, with a historical banner of the Prague Jewish Community above, with the emblem of the ghetto (Star of David with a Jewish hat inside).

Legend says that the ancestors of the Prague Jews built the Old New Synagogue as long as two thousand years ago, after the destruction of the so called Second Temple in Jerusalem (which happened in the year 70 A.D.) Hewn blocks from the shattered Jerusalem sanctuary were brought to Prague by heavenly angels, who built a beautiful chapel here. When the Messiah comes to gather the children of Israel, the angels will bring the blocks back to Jerusalem to build a new Jerusalem sanctuary, the third already.

The name Old New probably documents the fact that at the time it was built, when it was named New, the aim was to distinguish it from an older, non-preserved synagogue in Dušní Street. When more synagogues were built, the name was outlived already, but the older synagogue was still standing, and therefore probably the name Old New. In any case, it was the main religious centre of the Prague Jewish Community. This was also due to its two most significant rabbis: Jehud Löwa ben Bezalel (1512 - 1609), according to the legend the creator of the famous Golem, whose seat in the Old New Synagogue, to the right from the altar, has remained empty in token of esteem ever since his death. The second rabbi, even more popular in the world, was the famous scholar and master-rabbi Jecheskel Landau, called Noda bi Jehuda (1713 - 1793).

The reconstruction of the synagogue took place in 1967 under a strict supervision of the conservationists. There was another reconstruction in progress from November 1998 until March 1999. Constructional works were accompanied by a thorough archaeological research, which proved with great probability Jewish settlement in the surroundings as early as in the 11th century."

Source and more information: (visit link)
Location City and Country: Prague, Czech Republic

Name of Location or Landmark: Old New Synagogue

Location or Landmark website: [Web Link]

Puzzle or 3d model Manufacturer: Fine Art America

Puzzle or 3d model Manufacturer's Website: [Web Link]

Puzzle Type: Cardboard 2 dimensional

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petendot visited Old New Synagogue - Prague, Czech Republic 08/27/2022 petendot visited it