S056 - The Old-New Synagogue in Prague
Miniature porcelain synagogue:
In front of you are pictures of a detailed replica of a real synagogue. It is a hand-crafted and faithfully processed porcelain model of synagogue in Prague, which one of the well-known in Europe. Our porcelain synagogues are part of brand line that includes over 80 miniature houses found in Prague. From them you can build the Old Town Square, the Golden Lane or even a part of the Lesser Town.
How it comes about:
The basic model is made in scale according to the actual model. Then it’s converted in an elaborate way into a form, from which we obtain individual parts by casting porcelain mass. After assembling, retouching, drying and firing, careful and detailed revising begins again. This process is followed by hand painting with several layers of glaze and another firing at 1200 ° C. Last task is the final decor and firing in the kiln. It is a unique and sophisticated technique of creating models with the theme of historic synagogues. You can see the result in front of you…
Our aim is to capture the beauty of architecture in the imprint of ceramic clay and to transfer a piece of poetry of old Prague to your homes. Old Prague lovers in our country, as well as travelers from all over the world, have sets of entire streets and individual pieces of our models at home. It is a nice and valuable reminder of visiting Prague and Bohemia.
This product is made based on The Old-New Synagogue in Prague, which can be found at this address:
Cervena, Old Town, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic
History of The Old-New Synagogue in Prague:
One of the best-preserved monuments of the former ghetto is the Old-New Synagogue. It was built during the last third of the 13th c., most probably in relation to the privilege of King Přemysl Otakar II. He granted the Jews several economic and civil rights. This synagogue was built in the manner of the synagogue in Toledo, which is no longer used as a synagogue and is the second oldest in Europe. Another, still older synagogue stood in Worms until it was blown up by the Nazis. The Old-New Synagogue was built by Cistercian monks, because according to the decision of the Lateran Council, Jews were not allowed to produce crafts. This Order brought the Gothic style from southern France, through Germany and Austria via the Danube. These monks built a monastery in Vyšší Brod and Zlatá Koruna at Šumava and they were invited to Prague to build the Monastery of Clare nuns and a synagogue, which was originally called the New School. From a number of legends related to its origin, it is said that angels bought foundation stones from the ruins of the Jerusalem Temple. There was just one condition: When the last Jew returns to Jerusalem, the stones must go back as well. In Hebrew ‘on condition’ is ‘al tenai’ – thus the German Altneu or English Old-New. The building itself is a typical product of the Cistercian-Burgundy iron foundry - a two-nave ground plan with two columns, cross vaults and consoles with floral motives. There are 12 Gothic windows, most probably a symbol of the 12 tribes of Israel. Five windows face the south, five the west and two the north. They are unusually slim, so we can assume that the synagogue served as place of refuge in case of pogrom. Two windows on the eastern wall were added during the Baroque period. From the outside the supportive pillars are noticeable. The women’s gallery on the western and northern side was built at the beginning of the 17th c. The entrance hall, which is the oldest part of the synagogue, most probably served as the room for prayers before the main synagogue space was finished. Above the door there is an early Gothic tympanum decorated with a vine bush relief growing from twelve roots. The two columns supporting the ceiling call the Jerusalem Temple. In the space between the columns there is the bima (almemor). The ark of the Torah (aron ha-kodesh) is on the eastern wall. The only decorations today are floral but the vaults originally had frescoes. Few Hebrew inscriptions are found on the walls. The wooden seats were added to the synagogue in this century. The final notable detail is the small window in the eastern wall that indicated the time for the beginning of the morning service. The architect Mocker, who also rebuilt St. Vitus Cathedral, renovated the synagogue in 1883. The last restoration work was done in 1966, when the inscriptions and windows were also renovated. The Old-New Synagogue lies below street level today because the ground level was later raised as protection against floods. It is the spiritual centre of the Jewish Community in Prague, where services still take place today.
Quality and packaging:
Our models are miniatures of real buildings. We place great importance on the quality and detail of the processing of our products. All the miniature synagogues are hand-painted and hand-crafted from porcelain, so the individual pieces may differ slightly in size and color shade. Each item is original and unique. We pack them in handmade and fully recyclable cardboard boxes. Our more significant sets are packed in gift boxes with see through front.
Our usual customers come from Europe, but we also send our synagogues to the USA and Canada. We have been sending our little synagogues to Asia and they are most liked in Japan and South Korea. We are happy we can please customers from Czech Republic and in the other parts of world alike.