Prague

Altneuschul

 

History

       The unusual name of Altneuschul (Old New Synagogue) results from the fact that there was an Altschul (Old Synagogue) in Dusni Street until the 1860's, when it was demolished and replaced.  In a nearby Jewish settlement, there was a Neuschul (New Synagogue).  When a new synagogue was erected later, the synagogue became the "Old New Synagogue."  

       The synagogue is a grayish stone structure composed of a double-naved main room for men and annexes used as a vestibule on the south and as women's areas on the north and west.  Recent scholarship suggests that the south annex to the synagogue is a remodeled single-naved synagogue of 1230-40, while the larger, double-naved prayer hall connected to it is a building of the last quarter of the thirteenth century.  Although primarily medieval, fifteenth century gables and late Renaissance annexes were added.  Over the course of the centuries, there has been substantial restorations and renovations.

       For a detailed architectural description of the synagogue, see Carole Herselle Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe, P. 169-75.

Image

The above photcard, postmarked 1907, shows the Altneuschul on the left and the Jewish Town Center on the right.

Image

The above photcard, postmarked 1921, shows the Altneuschul in the foreground.

The above photcard shows the Altneuschul on the left and the Jewish Town Center on the right.

 

Image

The above photocard depicts the interior of the Altneushul Synagogue.  Seen are the Arc of the Covenant and the seat of the Rabbi.

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Copyright 1998-99 Edward Victor