Prague’s Klausen Synagogue
Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 24, 2013
My favourite synagogue in Prague’s Jewish Quarter is the Klausen (= “small,” from Latin claustrum), because of its light and elegant interior. The original building was constructed in 1573 and destroyed by fire in 1689. The current building was built in 1694, although most of its current architecture dates from the reconstruction undertaken in the 1880s. The Nazis destroyed much of the interior and used the building for storage. Now part of Prague’s Jewish Museum, it houses an exhibit of objects associated with the life cycle and festivals. Normally I would have photographed this building with a much wider lens but since photography isn’t allowed, I used my normal zoom lens, shot from the hip and hoped for the best.
The shot below was taken from the women’s gallery and shows the baroque 17th century Torah ark.
Closer view of the Torah ark, taken from the ground floor. The spiral columns are typically baroque.
This gate leads to the Altneu synagogue. The emblem of the Prague Jewish community, a yellow hat within a Star of David, appears in many places.
Gothic gabled facade of the Altneu synagogue.
The Jewish Town Hall, built in 1586, has two clocks. The one with Hebrew letters runs counter-clockwise. If you need kosher food in Prague, the Jewish Town Hall has a small store. Just remember that it opens midday and that you have to allow time for the security interview.