Prague, June 30 (CTK) – The Maisel Synagogue, part of the Jewish Museum in Prague, with a new permanent exhibition will be opened to visitors on Wednesday, after a thorough reconstruction.
The synagogue is restored in its Neo-Gothic appearance like 100 years ago when it was rebuilt in this style.
The new exhibition on the history of Jews in the Czech Lands from the 10th to the 18th centuries offers exhibits from the previous display as well as results of the latest research and interactive elements, including a large-screen to show the Prague Jewish Town before its demolition at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
It was created according to Antonin Langweil’s paper model of Prague from 1826-1837, which is displayed in the Museum of the Capital of Prague.
New touchscreens in the synagogue enable visitors to get acquainted with about 60 rabbis and other representatives of Bohemian and Moravian Jewish communities, their development as well as Jewish manuscripts and old prints, Alexandr Putik, author of the interactive display, told reporters.
The exhibition is arranged according to themes, but also chronologically. It starts with the first Jewish settlements in the Czech Lands and follows the development of the Jews’ position in the majority society until the first emancipation efforts during the Age of Enlightenment. It also presents Jewish education and mysticism.
The central part of the synagogue is devoted to the “Golden Age” of the Prague Jewish ghetto at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612), and to the personality of Mordecai Maisel (1528-1601), Jewish philanthropist and communal leader who founded the Maisel Synagogue.
Leo Pavlat, director of the Prague Jewish Museum, said the new exposition in the Maisel Synagogue was part of the transformation of the museum’s displays.
More evening programmes with the aim to attract a higher number of Czech visitors are planned in the synagogue, such as chamber concerts, readings and one-person shows, he added.
A reconstruction of the 19th-century Spanish Synagogue will follow. A small cinema is to be built there for screenings of documentaries and artistic feature films about Jewish issues or by Jewish authors, Pavlat said.