Prague, like many other European cities, had a thriving Jewish community. There was a Jewish town Hall and a Jewish Quarter. At one time, Prague has been home to several synagogues. After the German invasion and occupation only a few Synagogues and Jews remained. After the Old-New Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue is the oldest Jewish House of Worship.
The founder of this building is Rabbi Pinkos, hence the name. The year was 1479. His great nephew, Aaron Meshulam Horowitze, saw to the expansion of the Synagogue in 1535. The Gothic vaulting from these early incarnations remains in the hall for all to see. The Gallery for Women is from the 17th century. Yet, what draws people to the Pinkas Synagogue is not the structure but a wall. After World War II, the Synagogue gained a new type of wall. This is the Memorial Wall. It lists all the names, birthdates and dates of disappearance of the Jewish Czech people who disappeared under the Nazis and in the camps. Although the Communist erased the names, the community raised the funds and doubled their efforts. Today, you can read the names or go upstairs and see the art by the children interned at Terezin.
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