Prague's Jewish City: Escape games as a journey into the past - Hunter Games
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Prague’s Jewish City: Escape games as a journey into the past

Group of young people playing an outdoor escape game

Prague, the setting of many historical events, is home to a unique combination of culture, history, and modern entertainment. In our series “Walks Through Prague,” we have already introduced you to four different walks.

In the first article, we took you on a journey full of mysteries and history at Vyšehrad, in the second article we explored the secrets of the Lesser Town, and in the third article we introduced you to the history of significant personalities who have influenced Prague.

Today, we will embark on a journey of discovery through the Jewish Town of Prague through one of our outdoor escape games, The Legend of the Golem. This game will take you to some of the most significant landmarks of Prague’s Jewish Town.

The Old-New Synagogue: A Medieval Heritage

The Origin of the Name

The Old-New Synagogue in Prague, built in the early 13th century, is one of the oldest surviving Jewish religious buildings in Europe. The name “Old-New” may seem mysterious at first glance, but its significance is directly connected to its history.

Old New Synagogue in Prague in the morning

Originally, this synagogue was simply known as the “New” or “Great” Synagogue to distinguish it from older synagogues that already existed in Prague at that time. However, as it aged and newer synagogues were built, it became necessary to differentiate it from these later constructions. Gradually, the “New” became the “Old-New” Synagogue.

Even today, it remains an active place of worship and is a key part of the Jewish cultural heritage in Prague.

The Mysterious Golem

The legend of the Golem, inextricably linked with the Old-New Synagogue and Prague’s Jewish Town, is one of the most interesting and mysterious legends told in Prague. According to this legend, Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, known as the Maharal, created a figure known as the Golem from clay to protect the Jewish community from attacks and persecution.

This legend adds a mystical dimension to the Old-New Synagogue and is the main theme of our outdoor escape game, The Legend of the Golem.

Unconventional Architecture

The Old-New Synagogue in Prague is remarkable not only for its age and architectural style but also for its specific orientation, which differs from the traditional arrangement of synagogues. Most synagogues worldwide are oriented towards Jerusalem, symbolizing the connection with the center of the Jewish faith. However, the Old-New Synagogue is an exception.

Old New Synagogue interiour

The main nave of the synagogue is oriented in a north-south direction, deviating from the usual east-west orientation. This specific orientation is related to the historical development of the Jewish quarter in Prague and the limited spatial options available at the time of the synagogue’s construction. The arrangement of the synagogue had to respect the existing urban plan and the available space in the densely populated quarter.

Hebrew Clocks

One of the most interesting features on the facade of the Old-New Synagogue is the Hebrew clock. These clocks are unique in their design because they rotate in the opposite direction of most clocks and display time according to the Jewish calendar. The clock faces are inscribed with Hebrew numerals, and the clock mechanism was designed to reflect the specific way time is perceived in Jewish tradition, where a new day begins at sunset.

The National Library of the Czech Republic

A Center of Knowledge and Culture

The National Library of the Czech Republic, located in the historical Klementinum complex in the center of Prague, is an important cultural and scientific institution that plays a key role in national heritage.

The Klementinum, one of the most significant historical building complexes in central Prague, has a rich and diverse history dating back to the early 11th century. Initially, a chapel dedicated to Saint Clement stood here, around which a vast complex gradually developed.

Historical buildings of Klementinum

Foundation and Early Period

In the mid-16th century, specifically in 1556, the Klementinum was handed over to the Jesuit order, which established a college and seminary here. This step marked the beginning of the transformation of the Klementinum into one of the main centers of education and science in the region.

Expansion and Construction

The Jesuits expanded and rebuilt the complex over the following centuries, leading to its current extensive layout. The construction, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, was completed in the early Baroque style. Among the most significant additions are library halls, churches, and the astronomical tower.

Astronomical Tower and Observatory

The astronomical tower, completed in 1722, became a significant site for scientific research. Jesuit scholars conducted astronomical observations here that contributed to the development of the field. The tower also served as a meteorological station until modern times.

Astronomical Observatory in Klementinum

Národní knihovna

After the Jesuit order was dissolved in 1773, the Klementinum’s buildings were transferred to various educational and scientific purposes. In 1781, a public and university library was founded here, which later became the National Library of the Czech Republic. This step allowed for the collection, preservation, and accessibility of extensive collections of books, manuscripts, and other documents, which are invaluable resources for study and research.

Library in Klementinum

Today’s Use

Today, the Klementinum is open to the public and offers a rich program of tours and cultural events. The Baroque library hall, the astronomical tower, and other spaces serve not only as tourist attractions but also as sites of scientific and cultural research. Thus, the Klementinum remains one of the key pillars of cultural and scientific heritage in Prague.

Concert Hall in Klementinum

Don’t miss out on more stories and mysteries that Prague hides.

Visit the Hunter Games blog for more inspiration, join our community of adventurers and history enthusiasts, and share your experiences, tips for exploring Prague’s Jewish Town, and discover the magic of Prague together with us


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