The city of Plzen has a long history and diverse population, exemplified by the recently renovated Great Synagogue. It is called the Great Synagogue, to differentiate it from the Old Synagogue, also worth a visit I hear. I had only been to a synagogue once before to attend a friend’s wedding and was aware that men and women sit in different parts of the building. I had not touristed a synagogue before.
Clearly identifiable from the outside by the star of David on the spires and the central window, the Great Synagogue in Plzen presents the ten commandments on tablets over its central entrance.
The interior walls and ceilings are beautifully decorated, creating a stunning setting for the stained glass windows.
Facing the front of the synagogue from the upper women’s gallery, the overall size and grandeur of the building become apparent and why it was named the Great Synagogue.
A closer view of the front from the ground floor, men’s level shows the intricacies of the decorations.
During my visit, there was a separate exhibition of short films documenting Jewish history in the area up to and including the restoration work. Difficult to capture for a blog post, but worth taking a look at if it is still there when you visit.