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Jewish Quarter - Prague 1 Category: Town Hall Towers

Jewish Council House

GPS: 50°5'21.12"N, 14°25'5.8800000000001"E

The Council House in Maislova Street 25 is one of the few preserved construction landmarks in former Jewish Town. Fortunately this building was not affected by urban renewal statute for Capital City of Czech Kingdom, Prague, which was signed by Franc Joseph I. in Vienna on 11th February 1893.

The Council House building and even its 27,5 m tall spirelet are not too dominant features. It is because they are surrounded by high housing blocks that were built on the sites of previously demolished old buildings around 1900. Also Jews did not paid attention to their Council House and their houses. Their synagogues were always prioritized by the Jew community. They were used not only as the most respective embassies for congregational and spiritual centre but they were also places for administration of panel, judicial and last but not least scholastic affairs.

Ancestors of the corner Council house burned down several times. After such blaze of Jewish Town in 1754 the Council House was radically reconstructed (1763-1765). The reconstruction was led by constructor Josef Schlesinger. Corner tower grows up from the mansard roof. It has its own roof parapet walk with a full bar and a dome with lantern and David’s star on the top. Above the main Council House forefront are clock with Hebrew clock-face, whose hands are running in the opposite direction, than we are used to. Other clocks, which are placed in dome above the roof parapet walk, have their clock-face with Roman numerals and their hands are running the usual direction. It is therefore Prague’s curiosity. All clocks were made by Sebestian Landesberger, who was the royal clock maker from Prague, in 1764.