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The Great Synagogue

A pure magnificence

The Great Synagogue
The Great Synagogue
The Great Synagogue

Why it is worth to visit?

BIGGEST
The Great Synagogue is the biggest synagogue in the Czech republic and it is counted among the biggest synagogues in the World.
LAST CHANCE TO VISIT
The reconstruciton of the interiour is planned to start in 2019. The synagogue will be closed for a couple of years, till the work will be finished.
UNIQUE STYLE
The synagogue was built in the neo-Romanesque style with two towers.
ACCESSIBLE
The Great Synagogue is located within a walking distance from the Old Synagogue as well as from the historical town square.

About the Great Synagogue

The Great Synagogue We do not know exactly when the Jewish community members started to consider building this third new synagogue; however, we do know that the Jewish Community bought a piece of land with a roadside inn and stables for 60 horses in the suburb of Pilsen in 1874. Even though the Jewish community promised to build a two-storey building on the site in two qears, building was postponed several times and the community requered an extension to the deadline.
The construction officially started on the 40th anniversary of the coronation of the emperor Franz Josef I (2nd December, 1888) when the foundation stone of the new synagogue was laid. The original architect for the synagogue was Max Fleischer, however only two months lated the leaders of the Jewish community realized that his design was beyond their financial means and the planned cooperation with Max Fleischer was abandoned. In the following months the Jewish community then commissioned drawings for a new building with the following requerements: the new synagogue had to accommodate 1,200 seats and the overall budget of the building including furnishing had to be less than 200,000 gold coins.
Based on expert opinion and the fact that he did not require payment for his plans if he were entrusted with the building, Emanuel Klotz beame the designer and builder of the biggest synagogue in the Czech Republic and the second biggest in Europe. Emanuel Klotz was a well-known Pilsen builder and the owner of brick factories. His new plans were authorized in November 1889; the building started in March 1891 and was finished in September 1893.
A memorial letter found in the top of the northern tower dome of the synagogue revealed that the overall building costs amounted to 141,092 golden coins and to obtain more money the community had to take a load of 100,000 golden coins with a maturity of 33 and a half years at 4% interest.
The synagogue was officially opened on Thursday, 7th September 1893 to welcome in the Jewish New Year of 5654 which started the following Sunday evening.
Pilsen Jews did not get to enjoy the synagogue for very long. 2,605 Pilsen Jews were deported to Terezin concentration camp by the Nazis in three transports in January 1942. 
The synagogue was returned to the Jewish community after the war, however only 204 Plzen Jews survived the concentration camps. Many of the holocaust survivors emigrated in the following qears to Isreael or the United States. The synagogue was lucky to survive the long era of communism without being adapted into a town spa or a market place. However the synagogue, which was not in good condition after the war was left to its fate and slowly fell into decay.
The partial reconstruction of the synagogue between 1994-1998 was the result of the feverish conservation activities of the Jewsih community. The snagogue was again officially opened on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bi'Shvat (11th February, 1998) in the presence of prominent members of the town council and the government.
The synagogue is presently used for its original purposes on rare occasions. It serves as a concert and exhibition hall for all the citizens of Pilsen. The Jewish community is still gathering money to continue and finish its restoration.

Opening hours

In the tourist season (April-October) is the synagogue open every day from Sunday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We are closed for Shabbaths, Jewish holidays.
Althought, we are trying our best to keep the synagogue open for you as much as possible, sometimes happens, that there is a need to close it sooner - mostly for the technical aspects related to preparing the concerts. Thus, we encourage you to check the opening hours in the online calendar, or let us know in advance of your group planned to come, so that we can contact you in case that there might be some complication with your plans.

Booking system


Entrance Fee & Services

Entrance Fee Description Price
Regular € 4.00/person
Children up to 10 years € 0.00/person
Children aged 10-15 € 2.50/person
Family Discount Applied for min. 2 adults + 1 child € 6.50/family
Group Discount Applied for a group of 15 and more members, only. € 3.50/person
Assistance Applied for any kind of assistance (handicap, teachers, organized group guide etc.) € 0.00/person
An English speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 25.00/group
A German speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 25.00/group
A Czech speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 12.50/group

Contact

Velká synagoga
The Great Synagogue

sady Petatricatniku 11
Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC
zoplzen@zoplzen.cz
  Synagogue: +420 377 223 558
  Booking Service: +420 377 235 749
  GPS 49.7467511N, 13.3729783E

The Old Synagogue

A beautiful hidden pearl

The Old Synagogue
The Old Synagogue
The Old Synagogue

Why it is worth to visit?

OLDEST
The Old Synagogue is the oldest still-standing synagogue in Pilsen.
NEWLY RECONSTRUCTED
The synagogue was entirely reconstructed in 2014, financed by the EU funds.
UNIQUE STYLE
A wooden ceiling, the painted Aaron haKodesh as well as the two floors of the women's gallery make this synagogue unique in the Czech republic.
PERMANENT EXHIBITION
The permanent exhibition. The fist gallery presents an overview of the Jewish history of the Pilsen Region, the second gallery represents an introduction into the Jewish customs and traditions.
ACCESSIBLE
The Old Synagogue is located within a walking distance from the Great Synagogue as well as from the historical town square.
HIDDEN
It is hidden in a courtyard near Smetanovy sady 5, so it can be easily missed and finding it is quite challenging.

About the Old Synagogue

Revitalization of Jewish Monuments in the Czech Republic Pilsen’s Old Synagogue was built in 1859 in the gardens of the Jewish municipal house according to a plan by Martin Stelzer. The neo-Romanesque building has an auxiliary outer staircase to the upper floor that acts as an emergency exit.
The main hall features a two-story women’s gallery on wooden pillars. The decoration of the wooden Torah ark was restored during the building’s renovation in 2010–2014. The ceiling features illusionary painting. In 1869, the synagogue was fitted with an organ, which has not survived.
Following construction of the Great Synagogue on Klatovy Avenue (1892), the Old Synagogue was used only for occasional events.
Today, it is an actively consecrated synagogue. In 1875, the Auxiliary Synagogue was erected immediately adjoining the Old Synagogue. The two buildings were joined by a stone staircase leading to the galleries. In the 20th century, the Auxiliary Synagogue was used as a storehouse. Today, only its outer walls remain; these were repaired and the building’s interior converted into a monument to Plzeň’s victims of the Holocaust – a garden with the victims’ names written on stones. Total expenditures on renovating the Old Synagogue as part of the “Revitalization of Jewish Monuments” project amounted to CZK 31,939,000.

Opening hours

In the tourist season (April-October) is the synagogue open every day from Sunday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We are closed for Shabbaths, Jewish holidays.
Althought, we are trying our best to keep the synagogue open for you as much as possible, sometimes happens, that there is a need to close it sooner - mostly for the technical aspects related to preparing the concerts. Thus, we encourage you to check the opening hours in the online calendar, or let us know in advance of your group planned to come, so that we can contact you in case that there might be some complication with your plans.

Booking system


Entrance Fee & Services

Entrance Fee Description Price
Regular € 3.00/person
Children up to 10 years € 0.00/person
Children aged 10-15 € 2.00/person
Family Discount Applied for min. 2 adults + 1 child € 4.00/family
Group Discount Applied for a group of 15 and more members, only. € 2.50/person
Assistance Applied for any kind of assistance (handicap, teachers, organized group guide etc.) € 0.00/person
An English speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 25.00/group
A German speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 25.00/group
A Czech speaking guide An order in advance is requested. € 12.50/group

Contact

Stará synagoga
The Old Synagogue

inner courtyard of Smetanovy sady 5
Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC
zoplzen@zoplzen.cz
  Booking Service: +420 377 235 749
  GPS: 49.7445586N, 13.3742767E

EU
EU
EU

FAQ

There are 96 members in the Jewish Community of Pilsen. About half of them live in Pilsen, the others are scattered all around the West Bohemia, partly around the South Bohemia Region.

The community is a mix of modern-orthodox, conservative, reform and secular Jews. 54% of our members are women, the average age of our members is 61.

The income of the community is generally provided by rental of its properties and entrance fees from the Pilsen synagogues. Reconstructions, repairs and upkeep are mostly covered from our own sources, partly from fundraising.

The social programme - mostly for the Holocaust survivors - is almost fully covered by the Claims Conference and the Foundation for Holocaust Victims.

There is no kosher restaurant in Pilsen. The closest kosher restaurants is in Prague (approx. 100 km to the East of Pilsen).

The List of the Kosher Products that are possible to buy in the regular groceries is provided by the rabbinate of Prague and it is downloadable on the Jewish Community of Prague web sites.

The nearest kosher groceries are in Prague (call the Jewish Community of Prague office to check the opening hours in advance), in Vienna or the easiest way is shopping online. Some of our members have a good experience with the kosher4u.com, for example.

For stating the exact time for your prayers in Pilsen, you should subtract 4 minutes from the CET.

There are no regular services held in the Pilsen synagogues. The community members use to join a session - usually once a month - before Shabbath, however, this meeting is not a regular Kabalath Shabbath service.

There are no regular services during the Jewish holidays in the Pilsen synagogues.

There is no mikveh in Pilsen. The closest one is in Prague.

The kosher mikveh in Pilsen is planned to be built within 2-3 years and it will be located in the Rabbinical House in the courtyard of the Great Synagogue.

In 2018, the Jewish Community of Pilsen's community Board made contract with rav Abraham Waldman (Brooklyn, NY) to manage a reconstruction of the Baal Shem's Mikveh in Ronsperg (Pobezovice). According to this contract, the mikveh will be re-established till 2023. For more information, contact rav Waldman: +1-718-5222003 or shiewald@gmail.com.

The Sukkah is accessible in the courtyard - between the Old Synagogue and the Auxiliary Synagogue.

For Descendants

The Jewish Cemetery

Jewish and Holocaust Ancestry
Research of the West Bohemia Region

How we can help you

Our archive does not contains too many historical documents related to our Jewish members. However, during the last ten years we have been continuously working on digitalization of all documents, lists, records etc. about our history, so that we are ready to share with you all information about your ancestors we have.
Despite our wish to be helpfull, we do not have any historical Jewish matrical records. Those are available online.

How to help us

If there is any picture or document related to your Jewish ancestor, who was born, lived, or passed away in the West Bohemia Region, we kindly ask you to share scans of them with our archive. There are too many people who dissapeared without a trace and the only that remained is - sometimes - just a listed name, sometimes neither it. Support our effort to reconstruct our history, to revival it and help us to bring a human aspect to "just a listed names" for now and for the future.
There are many graves at the Jewish cemeteries in the West Bohemian Region we have absolutely no contact to any relatives. Please, stay in touch with us and let us know who you are relative to, so that we can contact you in case of need or to find a mutually acceptable concept of cooperation on renovation or maintainance of your ancestor gravestone.
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Pilsen is in the possesion of the Jewish Community of Plzen, now. Althought this graveyard has been badly demmaged in the past and almost none original tombstone is left, the graves has never been disturbed. If you are ancestor of anyone buried at this cemetery and you are interested in reinstalation of a simple tombstone to your ancestor's grave, do not hessitate to contact us and help us to bring back a dignity to this holy place.

List of the Jewish Cemeteries in the West Bohemia Region

ordered by..

Arnoltov
Becov
Bezdruzice
Blovice
Dlouha Ves
Dlouhy Ujezd
Dolni Lukavice
Domazlice
Drmoul
Frantiskovy Lazne
Hartmanice
Horazdovice
Hresihlavy
Hroznetin
Cheb - Medieval
Cheb - New
Chlistov
Chodova Plana - New
Chodova Plana - Old
Janovice nad Uhlavou
Karlovy Vary
Kasejovice
Klatovy
Kolinec
Koren
Kostelni Briza
Kozlany
Kynsperk nad Ohri
Lazne Kynzvart
Loket
Loucim
Lomnicka u Plesne
Luka
Marianske Lazne
Mala Sitbor
Ptenin
Mesto Touskov
Mutenin
Nejdek
Nectiny
Nove Sedliste
Nyrsko
Osek u Rokycan
Pilsen - New
Pilsen - Old
Pilsen - Medieval
Pnovany
Pobezovice u Domazlic
Podmokly
Pořejov
Poutnov
Prestice
Puclice
Rabi
Rabstejn nad Strelou
Radnice
Rokycany
Slatina
Spalene Porici
Stod
Straz u Tachova
Strazov
Stribro
Susice - New
Susice - Old
Stenovice
Svihov - New
Svihov - Old
Svojsin
Tachov - New
Tachov - Old
Telice
Teresov
Uboci
Utvina
Velhartice
Velka Sitbor
Vseruby u Plzne

Arnoldsgrün, Arnitzgrün
Bad Königswart
Blowitz, Plowycze
Bodmokl, Podmokl, Podmok, Potok
Brennporitschen
Dolní Žandov, Amonsgrün, Unter-Schandau
Drosau
Dürrmaul
Eger
Eger
Elbogen
Franzensbad
Hartmanitz
Herschihlau, Reschihlau, Reschohlau, Rzescholau
Hochpetsch, Petschau
Horaschdowitz, Horažďowitz, Horaždiowitz
Janowitz and der Angel
Karlsbad
Kassejowitz, Kassowitz
Kirchenbirk
Klattau
Klein Schüttüber
Klistau
Kolinetz, Kollinetz
Königsberg an der Eger
Koschlan
Kurschin
Kuttenplan
Kuttenplan
Langendorf
Langendörflas
Lautschim
Lichtenstadt
Marienbad
Merklín
Mies
Milíkov, Gross Schüttüber
Muttersdorf
Netschetin
Neu Zedlisch
Neudek
Neuern
Neustadtl am Klinger
Pauten
Pilsen
Pilsen
Pilsen
Piwana
Prostiboř, Döllitschen, Teltschen, Prostwerg
Přestitz, Pschestitz
Purschau
Putzlitz
Rabenstein and der Schnella
Rabi, Raby
Radnitz
Rokitzan, Rokytzan, Rockizan
Ronsperg, Ronšperk
Řebří, Schweissing, Ošelín, Leiter
Řešín, Weseritz, Rössin
Schüttenhofen
Schüttenhofen
Schwihau
Schwihau
Slatina
Staab
Stadt Tuschkau
Steingrub
Stienowitz
Tachau
Tachau
Taus
Tereschau
Uitwa
Unterlukawitz
Verušičky, Luck
Wellartitz, Welhartitz
Wossek
Wscherau 

טאכוי
ד''מ
דעליטשען ד''ש ט''ש פראסטווערג פ''ב
דראזוי
האראזדאוויצע
וואססעק
וועזעריטץ
טויס
יאנאוויטץ
לאנגענדארף
לאנגענדערפלאס
לויטשים
ליכטענשטאדט
מ''ד
מיעס
נייערן
נייצעדליש נ''צ
ניישטאדטל נ''ש
סלאטינא
פאטאק
פורשוי
פיוואנא
פילזן
פעטשוי
קאלינעטץ
קאסאוויטץ
קאשלאן
קוטטענפלאן
קורשין
קלאטוי
קליסטוי
ראבי
ראבן שטיין
ר''פ
שוויאוי
שווייסינג
שטינאוויץ
שיטטענהאפען
שערוי

Arnoltov
Bečov
Bezdružice
Blovice
Dlouhá Ves
Dlouhý Újezd
Dolní Lukavice
Domažlice
Drmoul
Františkovy Lázně
Hartmanice
Horažďovice
Hřešihlavy
Hroznětín
Cheb - Medieval
Cheb - New
Chlistov
Chodová Planá - New
Chodová Planá - Old
Janovice nad Úhlavou
Karlovy Vary
Kasejovice
Klatovy
Kolinec
Kořen
Kostelní Bříza
Kožlany
Kynšperk nad Ohří
Lázně Kynžvart
Loket
Loučim
Lomnička u Plesné
Luka
Mariánské Lázně
Malá Šiboř
Ptenín
Město Touškov
Mutěnín
Nejdek
Nečtiny
Nové Sedliště
Nýrsko
Osek u Rokycan
Plzeň - New
Plzeň - Old
Plzeň - Medieval
Pňovany
Poběžovice u Domažlic
Podmokly
Pořejov
Poutnov
Přeštice
Puclice
Rabí
Rabštejn nad Střelou
Radnice
Rokycany
Slatina
Spálené Poříčí
Stod
Stráž u Tachova
Strážov
Stříbro
Sušice - New
Sušice - Old
Svojšín
Štěnovice
Švihov - New
Švihov - Old
Tachov - New
Tachov - Old
Telice
Terešov
Úbočí
Útvina
Velhartice
Velká Šiboř
Všeruby u Plzně

The EU Projects

IROP

The Project

The Reconstruction of the Great Synagogue
and the Rabinical House

CZ.06.3.33/0.0/0.0/16_059/0004613

has been financed by the EU.


The aim of the project: To use the potential of the Jewish cultural heritage in the Czech republic and to implement the project of renovation and the utilization of the important Jewish sights of Plzen complex through the improvement of the techinical condition of the sight, the enhancing of the security of monuments and through the provision of modern cultural and educational services associated with Jewish topics.

The Rudolf Loewy Foundation

The Rudolf Loewy Foundation

We are sorry.
This page is currently available in Czech, only.

Contact Us

Židovská obec Plzeň
The Jewish Community of Plzen

Smetanovy sady 5
Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC
zoplzen@zoplzen.cz
+420 377 235 749


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