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The Maisel Synagogue is one of the most prominent buildings in the Josefov district in Prague. Mordechai Maisel – the abbot of the Prague Jewish community, was a wealthy and childless man who financed the rebuilding of the Jewish ghetto.
In 1590, at the end of his life, Mordecai decided to build another synagogue in the quarter, for which in the same year purchased the site. In 1592, the building was already completed. The construction was carried out according to the project of the architect Juda Kofer de Hertz. At the end of David Hans – a Prague Jewish chronicler noted that “the building, for its time, was not only extremely spacious, but also unusually beautiful.”
During a fire in 1689, Unlike other buildings in the Jewish Quarter, the Maisel Synagogue suffered the most. Most likely, it was at that time that the external masonry was damaged and the dome was destroyed.
In 1891, restoration work was carried out in the synagogue, during which it acquired the Baroque style. The work was supervised by the architect A. Groth. From the Renaissance elements, only a three-nave foundation with women's galleries has survived.
During the renovations carried out in 1894, the main facade and the interior of the synagogue acquired an early Baroque style. The main nave was decorated with Gothic vaults, and a vestibule was added to the synagogue in front of the western facade.
Aron ha-kodesh, and also all interior details were made in the neo-gothic style. In the early Baroque style, only the southern side facade and side aisles with women's galleries have survived.
During the First Republic, the synagogue was the center of Reformed Jewry. During the occupation, the synagogue building was used as a warehouse of furniture that the Nazis confiscated from Jewish families.
Today, the Maisel Synagogue is a museum of the history of Jews in Moravia and the Czech Republic, as well as a storehouse of the Jewish Museum.
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Topic: Maisel's synagogue in the Czech Republic, Prague spa.