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The Great Synagogue

A pure magnificence

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

Mobirise

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.


Entrance Fee

Adults

CZK 70 for a person

    Students, Pensioners

    CZK 50 for a person

    Children up to 10 years

    CZK 0 for a person

    Children aged 10-15

    CZK  40 for a person

    Discounts

    Family

    CZK 110 for a family

    At least 2 adults + 1 child

      Adults

      CZK 60 for a person
      • Applied for a group of 15 and more members, only

      Students, Pensioners

      CZK 40 for a person
      • Applied for a group of 15 and more members, only

      Assistance

      CZK  0 for a person
      • Applied for any kind of assistance (handicap, teachers, group guide)

      Services we offer

      An English speaking guide

      CZK 500 for a group

        A German speaking guide

        CZK 500 for a group

        A Czech speaking guide

        CZK 250 for a group

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