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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Prague : The Jewish Community

A week ago today I was in Prague with a group of girlfriends. On the Sunday morning two of us decided to dedicate some time to visiting the Jewish Quarter of the city, Josefov. We headed to the Jewish Museum which is based in this small road which is lined by market stalls.


The museum is situated in a number of synagogues all situated in close  proximity to each other. It was not appropriate to take photos but we learnt a great deal about the rituals of Jewish worship and life including birth, bar mitzvah and weddings. Another synagogue was dedicated to the rituals of health and death whilst another gave the history of the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia over the last few centuries. 
Pinkas Synagogue is perhaps the most emotive part of the whole museum. This is a memorial to the 80,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust from Bohemia and Moravia. Every single name is inscribed on the walls and are continually read out on a loop tape. it is an overwhelming experience.
Nearby is the Jewish Cemetery which is a very old burial ground including 12000 tombstones ranging from 1439 to the last burial in 1787.


The cemetery is visible from the windows of several of the synagogues.


The graves are layered 10 deep because of the lack of space.


A lot of them are decorated with plant and animal engravings.


The other notable landmark in the Jewish Quarter is the statue of Franz Kafka who was a German speaking Jewish novelist from the late 19th/ early 20th Century. This is situated outside the Spanish Synagogue.


Our visit to this part of Prague certainly enriched our visit and gave us much food for thought. Should you visit Prague I would strongly recommend a visit.



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post; you are just adding more reasons to my already substantial list of why I want to visit Prague!

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  2. Thanks again for taking us with you on this walk about. Very interesting history.

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  3. fascinating - Prague is climbing my list of cities to visit

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  4. A lovely post, with much to think about

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