Altneu Synagogue in Prague
Whoever visits Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, shouldn’t miss the Altneu Synagogue in Maislova Street while sightseeing. The name comes from “altnai”, meaning “provisional”. Several mysterious legends are connected with this oldest Jewish synagogue in Prague. Two angels are said to have given the Jews in Prague the order never to change or renovate anything on the building over the years. Those who did so would be prophesied death. And so it happened that everyone who did renovation work on the building in spite of what the angels said suffered terrible deaths. In 1558 a terrible fire broke out near the Altneu Synagogue, and it was like a miracle that the building wasn’t damaged. The legend tells that the miracle was worked by two angels in the form of doves, who succeeded in stopping the fire spread to the Altneu Synagogue. This early Gothic building has been standing in the old town of Prague since 1270 and is therefore the oldest remaining European synagogue.