The synagogues overseen by the Jewish Museum in Prague are among the Czech Republic’s most visited sacred sites
1. 6. 2020 Overview news
The synagogues overseen by the Jewish Museum in Prague are among the Czech Republic’s most visited sacred sites. According to a recently published report by the government’s tourist agency CzechTourism, the two most visited sacred sites in 2019 were the Pinkas and Klausen synagogues.
“We are pleased by the interest of our visitors," said Leo Pavlát, the director of the Jewish Museum in Prague. “It is an enriching experience to visit our synagogues. Dating from several historical periods, they house unique exhibitions of Jewish ritual objects and historical documents. We trust that they will attract new visitors also this year, despite the crisis caused by the pandemic.”
Last year, more than 640,000 visitors saw the Pinkas Synagogue, whose memorial walls contain the hand-painted names of Shoah victims from Bohemia and Moravia. About 440,000 people came to see the Baroque Klausen Synagogue and its permanent exhibition on Jewish traditions and customs.
The Czech Republic’s fourth most visited sacred site in 2019 was the Maisel Synagogue, which houses a permanent exhibition on the history of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia from their first settlements in the 10th century through to their emancipation at the end of the 18th century. This synagogue, dating from 1592, was visited by nearly 330,000 people.
In fifth place in terms of visitor numbers was the Prague Jewish community’s Gothic Old-New Synagogue, with just over 276,000. In eighth place was the Spanish Synagogue, with almost 220,000 – despite being closed from June 2019 for extensive reconstruction.
The museum’s synagogues were also among the Czech Republic’s top 50 tourist attractions in terms of visitor numbers, with the Pinkas coming in at number ten and the Klausen at number 16. The Pinkas, Maisel and Klausen synagogues were among Prague’s top ten most visited tourist destinations. In the category of associated tourist destinations, the Jewish Museum in Prague ranked 6th.
At present, the museum is offering guided tours only in the Czech language. These take place every day – apart from Saturdays and Jewish holidays, when the exhibitions are closed – at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for between 2 and 2.5 hours at discounted prices. The site entry fee is already included in the price.
The Jewish Museum in Prague was founded 1906, which makes it the third oldest Jewish museum in Europe. At the core of its collection were objects from synagogues and prayer houses that had been demolished as a result of the clearance of the Prague Jewish ghetto. During the Second World War, the museum became a storehouse of Nazi-confiscated Jewish ritual objects and books, which to this day remain a living reminder of the Shoah tragedy.