Smíchovská synagoga / Smíchov Synagogue (Prague)
N 50° 04.306 E 014° 24.177
33U E 457275 N 5546781
Quick Description: Smíchov Synagugue, located in area of new shopping malls and bussiness district in Andel metro station, is silent witness of great changes of this part of Prague's centre...
Location: Hlavni mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 12:07:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM8B0X
The Smíchov Synagogue, built in 1863, originally in the neo-Romanesque and Moorish style, to serve Smichov's Jewish community. In 1930-1931, the synagogue was renovated in the purist style based on Leopold Ehrmann's architectural plans. This renovation completely changed the appearance of the synagogue and transformed it into one of the rare, modern synagogues in Bohemia. Jews had lived in Smíchov since the mid-18th century, and fought for many years to have a synagogue of their own. It was later rebuilt by a functionalist architect, which explains its rather drab exterior.
During WWII war the synagogue was closed, although it was spared demolition by the Nazis. After the war the Communists gave the building to the CKD heavy engineering works, which used it as a storeroom. Not until 1989 was it returned to Prague's tiny Jewish community. Since then the synagogue has remained padlocked and closed, but the area around it has received a thorough face lift. Gone are the factories and the dilapidated buildings. In their place have sprung up two enormous shopping centres, complete with multiplex cinema. The Smíchov Synagogue now finds itself sandwiched between these two commercial monoliths - a reminder of a different era.
After complete reconstruction in 2004 serves former synangogue as archive of Prague's Jewish Museum and Book & Museum Shop.