Who? Anyone who is visiting Prague and has an hour or more to spare and would like to understand the history of Jews in the area/pay tribute to victims of the holocaust.
What? The Pinkas Synagogue is a synagogue that has been turned into a memorial for holocaust victims.
How? The Pinkas Synagogue is located at
U Staré školy 1
110 00 Prague 1
phone: +420 222 749 211
There is a variety of options and fees depending on whether you want to take in one or more sights in the Jewish Museum/Quarter.
Why? I have to admit that prior to my visit to Prague, I had a vague picture of the Jewish communities that inhabited the area. But close friends of mine insisted that a visit to Prague would be incomplete without visiting the Jewish Museum/Pinkas Synagogue. So one afternoon, a Jewish friend and I set forth to this area and spent several hours touring the museum and exhibits. The most moving part of my visit was of course the Wall at the Pinkas Synagogue which was inscribed with the names of 80,000 or so residents of Bohemia and Moravia that perished in the holocaust. Given that my visit to this memorial came many years before a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, this was the first full-scale impact of this chapter in history staring at me in the face. Reading about a place like this does not prepare you in any way to the moving impact of seeing a wall filled with names of people and their origins and the sad end they met with. I tried to follow the names, pausing to think about the untimely deaths of these individuals, all while gazing at my friend who was trying to trace family names with a tear in his eye. If the wall moves you, then I cannot use any words to describe the impact of seeing the paintings left behind by the children who perished during this period as well.
A visit to the Pinkas Synagogue, just like visits to the Holocaust Museum in DC and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a grim reminder of what mankind should have never encountered and should never face again.
To learn more about the Pinkas Synagogue, click here: