The Maisel Synagogue was built in 1592 in the heart of Prague’s Jewish Ghetto. It was funded by Mordecai Maisel, the Mayor of Jewish Prague, and its original design was Renaissance in appearance; the synagogue burnt down during a ghetto fire in 1689 and was rebuilt in its current, spindly Neo-Gothic form by architect Alfred Grotte (who died in Terezin in 1944) between 1893 and 1905.
During World War II, the Maisel became the storehouse for thousands of priceless artworks stolen from synagogues across former Czechoslovakia — most were restored to their rightful owners in the 1960s. Today the synagogue is administered by the Jewish Museum in Prague (Židovské museum v Praze), which also overseas the Pinkas, Spanish and Klausen synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery and several other sites of importance to Prague’s Jewish community. It can be visited on many walking tours of Jewish Prague and one admission ticket covers entrance to all.
The elaborately carved, vaulted interior of the synagogue doubles as a museum by day and a music venue by night; the permanent exhibition showcases the history of Jews in Bohemia between the 10th and 18th centuries, which is illustrated by displays of Torahs and menorahs, Hebrew manuscripts and models of the Jewish Ghetto, complemented by touch-screen panels providing historic context and a fascinating computer-generated audio-visual tour of Jewish Prague in the early 19th century. At night the synagogue becomes a popular location for concerts and plays.
Open Jan–Mar 25, Oct 30–Dec Sun–Fri 9am–4.30pm; Mar 27–Oct 28 Sun–Fri 9am–6pm. Closed on Jewish holidays. Admission for adults is 300 CZK; students and children less than 15 200 CZK; disability cardholders 50 CZK; children less than 6 go free. Price includes entry into Pinkas Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Old Jewish Cemetery, Ceremonial Hall and Robert Guttmann Gallery; tickets are valid for one week. Free with Prague Welcome Card. The synagogue is a five-minute walk from Old Town Square or Metro Line A to Staroměstská.