You are here

6. Old New Synagogue

Constructed in 1270, this synagogue is the oldest in Europe and one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Prague.  This synagogue has survived many troubling times, including fires, the slum clearances in the 1800's and multiple Jewish pogroms.  This synagogue has been a safe haven for residents of the Jewish Quarter through the years and today is still the religious center for Prague's Jews.  There is also a legend concerning Rabbi Low and the Golem which surrounds the Old New Synagogue.  Rabbi Low, scholar and philosopher, and Director of the Talmudic school which studied the Torah in the late 16th century was believed to have magical powers.  He was thought to have created a clay figure called the Golem, and brought it to life by placing a magical stone tablet inside its mouth.  The Golem got out of control and the Rabbi was forced to remove the tablet.  The clay creature was later hidden in the rafters of the Old New Synagogue.  Rabbi Low's old wooden chair is on display in the interior.