Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

Spanish Synagogue Prague CzechOne of the sobering realities of touring Eastern Europe is visiting the old Jewish quarters of the cities to see remnants of what destruction the Nazis wrought. This synagogue, though, was the unlikely benefactor of Hitler’s odd dictum that the Jewish Quarter of Prague be preserved as a reminder of the people he meant to destroy. It is called the Spanish synagogue because of the architectural style, which is reminiscent of the synagogues of Spain built during the Moorish era. This building was originally built in the mid 19th Century and was restored in the 1990s.

Since there was a “No Photo” rule in effect in the synagogue–for what reason I don’t understand–I had to sneak this from the hip with the tiny Canon S110. The only manipulation here was some darkening of the dome via a gradated filter and exposure brush. ISO 1600, f/3.5, 1/30 sec exposure. I also used the noise reduction tool in Lightroom to smooth out the grain.

For more info about the equipment and software I use, see this page.

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6 Responses to Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

  1. Marybeth December 20, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    My goodness – now you’re making me want to go to Prague!

    I simply cannot imagine how one could concentrate on anything like worship in a space like this, especially at night, with candlelight … amazing.

    • Tom Bartel December 20, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      Marybeth, it is lovely, and we’re so lucky it wasn’t destroyed like so many other Jewish sites. The whole Jewish quarter of Prague is fascinating. More pics to come.
      Tom Bartel recently posted…Terror Museum, Budapest, HungaryMy Profile

  2. Dee Dee January 5, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Awe inspiring. I’m afraid I couldn’t pray in there–too much to look at. The Star of David is beautifully placed in the window, you really have to look to see it. The ten commandants positioned above the arc, amazing. and I’d love to hear the organ play.

  3. Tom Bartel January 5, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    You should go, Dee Dee. The Jewish Quarter in Prague is unique in that Hitler didn’t destroy it. Another synagogue has the name of all the Czech jews who were killed inscribed on the walls. The Russians removed them, but when they left, the Czechs put them up again. That’s a sobering sight. Did you see my shot of the Jewish Cemetery, btw?
    Tom Bartel recently posted…Bone Church, Kutna Hora, Czech RepublicMy Profile

  4. ROB’S PRAGUE ARCHITECTURAL TOUR January 26, 2017 at 6:35 am #

    The Spanish Synagogue, was the first Reform synagogue built in Prague, its very grand decor reflects, the wealth of the Prague Jewish community at in the 1860s, able to afford exotic and intricate architecture from far away land of the Islamic world, and it would have also been the synagogue Franz Kafka would have attended, when he wasn’t writing his books

  5. ROB’S PRAGUE ARCHITECTURAL TOUR April 5, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    The rebuilding of Josefov- the Jewish Quarters in Prague,
    In 1885 it was decided that the original Jewish Ghetto of Prague that was established in the 11th century, would be demolished , as it was in a state of disrepair , as in essence it was a picturesque slum in the heart of historical Prague.
    In its place the town council of Prague planned a new urban development that would try to look like a Parisian boulevard, with wide tree line streets and new apartment house, for the upper classes.
    As the rebuilding of the Jewish Quarters was finished in 1913, a lot of its building were in then very fashionable architectural style know as
    Art Nouveau, an architectural style that came to be symbolized with floral motives
    and the depiction of women. As is visible on numerous building facades, Jewish Quarters.

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