The precious Jewish neighbourhood of Prague

1587

It was a city with its own administration at the end of the 13th century and was the home of the biggest Jewish community in central Europe. Josefov neighbourhood in Prague is located on the north of the city. From MH Apartments, we show you the most amazing architectural jewels you cannot miss.

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On the contrary of the majority of Jewish neighbourhoods in European cities, its streets are wide and bright. Walking around Parizska avenue or through Majselova or Siroka streets, it can be seen noucentist and Neo-baroque façades. Most of the Jewish buildings remain although a lot of them where demolished in a reconstruction during the 20th century.

The six synagogues and the Jewish cemetery are the best well-known buildings in this area. Every tourist in the city must pay them a visit. If you do not want to queue unnecessarily, the best thing to do is to buy a combined ticket in one of the synagogues. It allows you to go into the cemetery and five of the six religious buildings in the city.

Jewish cemetery in Prague

It was created in the middle of the 15th century, as the oldest gravestone says. It had been growing but not enough quickly as the city did. The lack of space provoked a massive entombment. In some areas, there are 10 bodies staked up. The last grave is from 1787 and it seems that 100.000 people were buried there. This cemetery does not have lush gardens or graves like others in some European cities but it is necessary to visit it if we want to know the Hebrew community’s history of the city.

cementerio_judio_pragaFoto: megatick

This place was the only one in Prague where the Jewish burials were allowed during 300 years. Among its most popular graves there are David Oppenheim (17th century famous rabbi), David Gans (historian and astronomer), and Judah Leow (philosopher). Nowadays, there is a New Cemetery where are buried well-known people like Franz Kafka.

Synagogues route

Pinkas

It is placed in the entrance of the Jewish cemetery and it is the most famous one. It was built in the 15th century and its walls protect the world largest epitaph: 77.297 names of Czechoslovakian people murdered by the nazis. The building also contains a collection of draws of children who were in Terezín camp.

Maisel

It has the name of one of the most influential leaders of Jewish community in Prague and the mayor of the city. A lot of Hebrew objects like books, ropes and decorative objects, can be found inside the synagogue

Spanish

The most impressive one due to the morisco elements that cover its walls. They recall to La Alhambra in Granada -that is why this name was chosen. It holds an exhibition about the last decades of Jewish’s life. Next to it there is a Frank Kafka sculpture.

sinagoga_española_pragaFoto: Jose Mesa

Klausen

Built in the 17th century, it is located at the exit of the Jewish cemetery. It contains a big Hebrew texts collection and draws made by children who were in Terezín camp.

sinagoga_praga-Foto: দেবর্ষি রায়

High

This synagogue has two floors. Downstairs there is a small shop where you can find some souvenirs. Upstairs there is a collection of ropes, curtains and silver objects. It was built in the 15th century and founded by Mordechai Maisel.

To have access to the last of the synagogues, the Old-New, you’ll have to buy a different ticket. This one is the oldest synagogue which still opens as a religious building. The legend says its attic is the house of the inert body of Golem. It is believed this mud giant helped chasing Jewish in Prague.

It is interesting to see that the city has kept all the architectonic heritage in a good condition. Prague was occupied by nazis. On the contrary it could be thought, Hitler supporters did not destroy anything. They wanted to transform this area in a museum of a race which they strong believed it was going to disappear.

However, if you are more classic and want your holiday to Europe is full of luxurious details provided, then the best option for you is to book a room in Prague or a room in Barcelona that will become your haven of peace.

Cover photo:Suzanne Hamilton
MH Apartments
www.mhapartments.com