Jews were not permitted to design buildings in Medieval times. Jewish places of worship were designed by Christians who incorporated the same Gothic details used for churches and cathedrals.
The Old-New Synagogue in Prague was an early example of Gothic design in a Jewish building. Constructed in 1279, the modest building has a pointed arch facade, a steep roof, and walls fortified by simple buttresses. Two small dormer-like "eyelid" windows provide light and ventilation to the interior space—a vaulted ceiling and octagonal pillars.
Also known by the names Staronova and Altneuschul, the Old-New Synagogue has survived wars and other catastrophes to become the oldest synagogue in Europe still used as a place of worship.
By the 1400s, the Gothic style was so predominant that builders routinely used Gothic details for all types of structures. Secular buildings such as town halls, royal palaces, courthouses, hospitals, castles, bridges, and fortresses reflected Gothic ideas.