Sunday, March 16, 2014

Jubilee or Jerusalem Synagogue - Prague

The Jubilee Synagogue in Prague, Czech Republic, was built in 1905 and I've read it was named in honor of the silver jubilee  (25 years) of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. However, Franz Joseph celebrated his silver jubilee on December 2, 1873. In Judaism a jubilee is 50 years and the jubilee of Franz Joseph, in a Jewish sense, was in 1898. If construction was started in that year and later completed, that could account for the odd number of years. In fact, it was in 1898 when it was decided to build a new synagogue to replace three synagogues demolished during reconstruction  of the Jewish Town. An old house was purchased on Jerusalem Street in 1899 as a site for the synagogue. The Jubilee synagogue is also known as the Jerusalem Synagogue, because of its location on Jerusalem Street. 
I love the mixture of bold colors: bright yellow, red and light orange stripes, green and blue accents. 
Moorish arches remind me of the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain. Inside the large arch is a rosette window with a Star of David.
Purple is evident on the roof. 
It is designed in a Moorish Revival style that was commonly used after the mid-19th century by the Jews in Central Europe because it was associated with the golden age of Jewry in medieval Muslim Spain. See, for example, the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest. The decoration, particularly inside, is Art Nouveau, which was popular between 1890 and 1910, inspired by natural forms and structures in flowers, plants and curved lines. I absolutely love the architecture and the decoration. I love the color, the Moorish arches and the busy elements. It is eye candy. 
The inside back of the synagogue: note the arch toward the top.
View of the back from the second level. Moorish arches line the sides as well. 
The Torah on top of the arch.
Close-up of the Torah.

View toward the front. The organ is up in the second level. 
Closer view of the organ. An unusual element in a synagogue.
Ceiling decoration.
Skylight stained glass.
Decorative flooring.

Ceilings above second floor arches.
Art Nouveau stained glass.
More beautiful stained glass.

A stained glass Star of David


  1. One of my favorite places on our trip. Thanks for the memories!

  2. Definitely one of the best synagogues we've ever visited. I loved the Moorish influences--they are a good fit with some of the traditional Jewish designs.

  3. What a wonderful building! Very great.