The Jewish Museum – Prague

The Jewish Museum in Prague is one of the oldest continuously existing Jewish museums in the world. Founded in 1905, the museum has set itself the task of documenting Jewish customs in Bohemia and preserving valuable artifacts from decay and destruction. The museum exists in several places in Prague and includes different synagogues and sights.

The Jewish Museum and its History

The Jewish Museum was founded in 1905 for the purpose of preserving the symbols and artifacts of synagogues, which were destroyed in Prague at the beginning of the 20th century. But it soon became a general and well-attended museum.

Immediately after the German troops invaded Prague, it was closed and initially used as a collection point for synagogal items. In 1943 it was reopened as a museum under SS leadership – but as the “museum of a lost race”.

After the Second World War, the museum was fully preserved, but the continuation was difficult due to the small number of surviving Jews and the lack of support from the city. Only in 1994 it was completely renovated. Today, the museum has about 500,000 visitors a year.

The information center

Visitors of the Information and Reservation Center at Maisel Street (Maiselova ulice) can get information about the different exhibitions in Prague. There is also information about special monuments across the city.

The synagogues

In the Klausen – Synagogue there is a permanent exhibition on Jewish everyday life. The Maisel Synagogue gives visitors an overview of Jewish history from the 10th to the 18th century. Another big center is the Spanish Synagogue. It hosts an administrative building and displays an exhibition on Jewish community in the 19th and 20th century. Both the Ceremonial Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery deal with the topic of death. In the Ceremonial Hall, there is also an exhibition on medicine in the ghetto.

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