The Jewish Museum
U staré skoly 1
110 00 Prague 1
Tel: +42 (02) 2481 9456
Fax: +42 (02) 2481 9458
Containing over 40,000 exhibits and 100,000 books, the Jewish Museum has one of the most extensive collections of Judaic art and culture in the world. It is unique not only in terms of the number of its exhibits, but because they are from a single territory (Bohemia and Moravia), presenting an integrated picture of Jewish life and history in the region.
The exhibitions of the museum are in six historic locations; the Maisel Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, Klausen Synagogue and the Ceremonial Hall.
The Maisel Synagogue exhibition covers the history from the establishment of the first Jewish settlements to the period of emancipation in 1780, when reforms were prepared to improve the status of Jews. The exhibition in the Spanish Synagogue continues the history through to the present day. The Pinkas Synagogue is dedicated to the Bohemian and Moravian victims of the Holocaust, whose names are inscribed on the wall of the main nave of the synagogue and adjoining areas.
The Old Jewish Cemetery was established in the first half of the fifteenth century, with the oldest surviving tombstone marking the grave of the poet and scholar Avigdor Karo who died in 1439. The cemetery was in use until 1787 and contains almost 12,000 tombstones, although many more burials took place on the site in successive layers.
The Klausen Synagogue features a permanent exhibition of Jewish customs and traditions, highlighting the significance of the synagogue and of individual Jewish festivals. The gallery contains exhibits associated with Jewish family life and the customs connected with birth, circumcision, bar mitzvah, wedding, divorce and daily life.
The Ceremonial Hall of the Burial Society houses the concluding section of the Course of Life exhibition focusing on illness and death, illustrated by examples from the unique series of Prague Burial Society paintings from the 1880s. The main hall features descriptions and illustrations of assistance provided by the Society to the ill and the dying, ritual washing of the dead and the burial ceremony. There are also a number of illuminated manuscripts and a collection of silver alms boxes.
Daily, except Saturdays and Jewish holidays -
9:00 am to 6:00 pm April to October, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm November to March