Place photography, Maiselova street-Old Town-Prague-1
Through the Maisel Synagogue (czech: Maiselova synagoga) back to the 10th century and then criss-cross through Jewish history in Bohemia. This beautiful Jewish building was funded in 1590 – 1592 by a very wealthy citizen of Prague Jewish Community, the Primate Mordecai Maisel. The synagogue was supposed to serve for private purposes only for him and his family. Naturally, the building takes its name after its benefactor. It was built just thanks to privileges conferred by the Emperor Rudolf II himself. As you know from previous entries, Mordecai Maisel was the very “Court-Jew” of the Emperor.
The design of the building is the work of a significant master builder called Juda Coref de Herz. It was rather unusual for its time since it was composed of a three-nave Renaissance building bearing distinctive Gothic elements. The construction site chief and superintendant was Josef Wahl. All this extensive construction was pillared by twenty hefty posts. The wealthy owner donated a vast number of unique and rare ritual items to the synagogue collection.
During the World War II. the synagogue was used as a warehouse. Nazis assembled here around six thousand pieces of art work and other items which came from 153 synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia. Those items were assembled particularly here since the Maisel Synagogue was supposed to become an Anti-Jewish Museum. In 1950 all this enormous collection was handed over to the State Jewish Museum which later arranged a permanent exhibition called Silver of Czech Synagogues in Maisel Synagogue. In 1960s the whole interior was completely reconstructed and in 1990s the synagogue was generally restored.