THE MAISEL SYNAGOGUE

The Neo-Gothic look of the synagogue came about in the years 1893-1905 and it was designed by Alfred Grott. The synagogue is used as a place for exhibitions and as a depositary of the Jewish Museum. The main attraction is the exposition of the synagogue´s silver and a set of the Jewish synagogue´s curtains that date from the 17th and 18th centuries. Another rare exhibit is a gilt silver cup, which allegedly belonged to Rabbi Löw. Part of the exhibition is also devoted to Mordechai Maisel, who died in 1601.
Mordechai Maisel was a wealthy financier, benefactor and the main representative of the Prague Jewish community, during the reign of Rudolf II., when Prague was a cultural and social centre of the empire. Rudolf II. moved as an emperor from Vienna to Prague in 1583 and he died here in January 1616. Maisel was considered one of the wealthiest men of his time and he used his wealth to improve the Jewish community. He lent money to the emperor and as an exchange; he gained permission for activities that led to the improvement of conditions in the ghetto. To improve the ghetto he did not hesitate to make a deal with the emperor that he would inherit half of his assets after his death. The importance of Mordechai Maisel is based on the fact that he funded the extensive Renaissance reconstruction of the Prague ghetto; he paid for synagogues, the town hall, the hospital and the paving of the streets. He also ordered a private synagogue but unfortunately, it was burned down in great fire of the Old Town in 1689. However, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style and the final appearance is Neo – Gothic, which is mentioned above.

More
Play audio