Pinkas Synagogue

Prague, Czech Republic

Pinkas Synagogue


The Pinkas Synagogue (Czech: Pinkasova synagoga) is the second oldest surviving synagogue in Prague. Its origins are connected with the Horowitz family, a renowned Jewish family in Prague. Today, the synagogue is administered by the Jewish Museum in Prague and commemorates about 78,000 Czech Jewish victims of the Shoah.

An archaeological excavation has showed that in 15th century in the area of present Pinkas Synagogue there were wells, a mikveh and inhabited houses. By 1492 in one of those houses there was a private oratory belonging to a distinguished Prague Jewish family of Horowitz. In 1535 one of the family members, Aharon Meshulam Horowitz, decided to replace the house by a synagogue for his family. In this building we can find components in Gothic and Renaissance styles – for example the reticulated vault is made in the late Gothic style but its ornaments have Renaissance features and the portal is pure Renaissance. Between 1607 and 1625 an annex in Renaissance style was added and so the synagogue was extended with a vestibule, a women's section and a balcony. The architectural plan of the annex was designed by Juda Coref de Herz (the author of the plan to Maisel Synagogue, too).

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