Built in the 16th century, this synagogue was originally a private house of prayer for Mayor Mordechai Maisel and his family. Maisel made his fortune lending money to Emperor Rudolph II to finance wars against the Turks and his synagogue was the most elaborately decorated in the entire city. Destroyed by fire in1689, a new synagogue was built in its place. Since the 1960's the Maisel Synagogue has held a substantial collection of Jewish silver and other metalwork dating from Renaissance times to the 20th century. The collection includes many Torah crowns and finials. There are also such objects as wedding plates, lamps and candlesticks. Interestingly, nearly all of these Jewish treasures were brought to Prague by the Nazis from synagogues in Moravia and Bohemia with the intention of creating a museum of a vanished people.