The Jewish quarter (Josefov – Joseph´s city) was named after Josef II., a holy Roman emperor, whose reforms (Toleration Edict from 1871) helped to improve the living conditions of the Jewish. It is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava river. Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) and the mystical homunculus Golem created by Jehuda ben Bezalel, known as Rabi Löw, are often associated with the Jewish quarter. The quarter used to have over 18 000 inhabitants in the past. Since many inhabitants died in the World War II. or were forced to leave by the communist regime, the present local Jewish community numbers around 5 000 people.
The Jewish museum (Židovské museum), founded in 1906, includes one the most extensive collections of the Jewish artefacts from all over the central Europe (books, textiles, silver etc.). This collection is unique as it preserves the valuable Jewish heritable and recalls the Jewish history. The Old Jewish cemetery (Starý židovský hřbitov), founded early 15th century, is the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe. It is difficult to estimate the exact number of buried people because there were buried on the top of each other. However there are 12 layers of tombs and approximately 12 000 visible tombstones. It is estimated that the total amount of burials may reach up to 100 000. Some prominent personalities, such as Mordechai Maisel, David Oppenhiem, or Rabbi Löw, were buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery.
These are synagogues, which are located in Josefov:
Old New synagogue (Staronová synagoga) – Early gothic building from the 13th century
Pinkas synagogue (Pinkasova synagoga) – 16th century synagogue, which now serves as a memoria.l to to all the 77,297 Jewish Czechoslovak Holocaust victims. Their names are inscribed on the walls.
Klaus synagogue (Klausova synagoga) – 16th century baroque synagogue, which reminds Jewish traditions, customs and exhibits the drawings of the children from Terezín concentration camp.
Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova synagoga) – 16th century synagogue, which was destroyed by fire and now serves as a museum and shows the history of central European Jews.
High Synagogue (Vysoká synagoga) – 16th century synagogue
Spanish synagogue (Španělská synagoga) – 19th century synagogue
|The Jewish museum |
U Staré školy 141/1, Prague 1 – Josefov
spring, summer 9.00 – 18.00,
winter, autumn 9.00 – 16.30
Entrance fee: 300 CZK
TEL.: +420 221 317 191