The Pinkas Synagogue originally served as a private prayer hall for the prosperous and influential Horovitz family. Aron Meshulam Horovitz, an important member of the Prague Jewish Community, had it built in 1535.
It was constructed in the Renaissance style with late Gothic mesh vaults in the interior. Extraordinarily interesting things were discovered during archaeological research in the cellars of the synagogue and the adjacent building in 1968! The Pinkas Synagogue stands at a lower level than the surrounding terrain, which has led to it being frequently flooded. Linked to this is a problem it has suffered from for many years: the seeping of ground water into the walls. Between 1955 and 1960 the interior was modified according to a design by the academic painters Jiří John and Václav Boštík. The synagogue was transformed into a unique memorial to some 80,000 Bohemian and Moravian victims of the Shoah, with their names, dates of birth and death, and relevant community written on the synagogue’s walls. Drawings by children from the Terezín ghetto are also on display. While carrying out research in 1968 archaeologists discovered a valuable mikveh in the cellars of the adjacent building; in 1990 the Prague Jewish Community installed a new mikveh nearby to serve the needs of its members. In 1968 the authorities closed the memorial at the Pinkas Synagogue for 21 years. In 1992, however, the memorial was renovated and the synagogue was reopened.