The Main Synagogue is CLOSED to Jews but Open on Saturdays
The Upper Synagogue
The most important Mikulov synagogue was the Upper Temple, or Old Temple, originally built in perhaps 1550 and expanded in 1689. Its current architectural look is the result of a 1719–1723 baroque reconstruction (perhaps with the participation of palace architect Christian Alexander Oedtl) after a fire. This baroque house of worship with a facade rich in architectural detail was apparently the work of sculptor Ignác Lengelacher. The central layout – in which a set of four cupolas come together on a four-pillared column in the middle of the hall, with the column serving as the almemor (pulpit) – is based on Polish examples. This architectural arrangement introduced a new approach to the design of liturgical space, as it created an exceptionally exquisite baroque composition characterized by elegant proportions and structural elements. It is the only extant four-pillar synagogue in the country today. The interior is richly decorated with stucco relief and Hebrew liturgical texts. The building deteriorated badly from the start of World War II onwards. It then saw demanding repairs from 1977 to 1989, and in 1995 began offering a museum exhibition on the history and historical sites of the local Jewish community. From 2010 to 2014, CZK 35.5 million were invested in a comprehensive restoration of the synagogue as a part of the “10 Stars” project for the revitalization of Jewish monuments in the Czech Republic. Today it serves multiple social and cultural functions as a museum, concert hall, and educational center. In June 2014, the Upper Synagogue saw its grand opening and began hosting the exhibition “Rabbi Loew and Jewish Learning in Moravia”.