Ghetto Jews: what to see in the Jewish Quarter in Prague

district jewish prague
district jewish prague

The visit of the Jewish Quarter in Prague promises an unpublished part of Stare Mesto, relevant both for extension to the great cultural and artistic importance.

Visit the Jewish Quarter

The history of the Jewish settlements in Prague begins around the tenth century. Over time, persecution of any kind, fires and looting made life very difficult for the Jewish community.

Around the middle of the eighteenth century, an order of Maria Theresa of Austria officially announced the expulsion of the Jews, while in the second half of that century, the Emperor Joseph II demolished the walls of the ghetto and began the renovation of the Jewish Quarter, which was Josefov renamed in his honor. It was only since 1848 that were recognized civil rights to the Jews.

The years of the Nazi occupation of Prague, from 1939 to 1945 during World War II, were those who saw the Jewish community most affected by fierce persecution and deportation.

Currently, all buildings, both secular and religious, form the Jewish ghetto, with the adjoining cemetery and constitute a huge open-air museum.

The Jewish Town Hall is a Renaissance building dating from the second half of the sixteenth century, to notice the clock tower with the small figures in Hebrew and the hands that rotate counterclockwise.

As for the old Jewish cemetery, the main feature, which makes it a major tourist attraction, is to a large number of burials, which reaches a staggering twenty thousand, with tombstones partially overlapped with each other because of the narrowness of the spaces in relation to the number of the dead.

The Hebrew inscriptions and reliefs places to ornament the tombstones, are considered a very interesting testimony regarding the Jewish community of that time, documenting various aspects of the civil status of the deceased, including his membership in arts and crafts, special classes, as one of the priests.