The Old-New Synagogue is a replacement for the formerly Old Synagogue. In 1270, it was actually the New Synagogue. This is not its claim to fame, however. The Old-New Synagogue is revered as being the oldest operational synagogue in Western Europe. Only once, has it closed its doors – during the occupation by the Germans between 1941 and 1945.
The Synagogue takes its place as one of the city of Prague’s earliest Gothic buildings. The steep roof flaunts its Gothic gable; the interior reveals vaulted ceilings. Inside, the pulpit and interior, encompassed by a wrought iron grill from the 15th century, reveal little change over the time period. The Ark of the Covenant still graces the eastern wall. The walls still bear verses from the Holy Scripture. Even the entryway into the Old Synagogue shows how time can pass by. You have to step down into the building. This dates from an era before the streets in the Old town were raised.
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