Jewish Quarter -Josefov -, Prague

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  • The Maisel Synagogue
    The Maisel Synagogue
    by Xeriss
  • The Spanish Synagogue
    The Spanish Synagogue
    by Xeriss
  • The Pinkas Synagogue
    The Pinkas Synagogue
    by Xeriss
  • Xeriss's Profile Photo

    The Jewish Museum in Prague

    by Xeriss Updated Jun 24, 2012

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    The Synagogues in the Jewish Quarter are all under the jurisdiction of the Jewish Museum of Prague. Buy a ticket that will grant you access to all of the following:

    (1) The Maisel Synagogue
    (2) The Spanish Synagogue
    (3) The Pinkas Synagogue
    (4) The Old Jewish Cemetry
    (5) The Klaus Synagogue
    (6) The Ceremonial Hall
    (7) The Old-New Synagogue

    The ticket may be bought from the ticket centre situated next to the Spanish Synagogue. It costs 480 czk and it is valid for 8 days. The Synagogues are normally open between 9.30am to 6pm from Sunday to Friday. Synagogues are not open on a Saturday.

    The ticket has a map on the back indicating the route one should take to view all of the locations listed above.

    The Jewish Quarter is one of the busiest touristic areas. Be ready to wait in line, even if you have a prepaid ticket.

    IMPORTANT: Videos and Photographs are not allowed inside most of the Synagogues. Photos and videos are allowed in a few areas provided that you pay an extra fee. Men are required to take off any hats or berets or beanies and are asked to wear a kippah which is normally provided onsite.

    The Spanish Synagogue The Klaus Synagogue The Old-New Synagogue The Maisel Synagogue The Pinkas Synagogue
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    Typical Jewish buildings

    by FruitLover Written Oct 28, 2011

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Jewish Quarter‘s history dates back to the 13th century, when the Jewish community in Prague were ordered to vacate their homes and settle in one area.

    The buildings in the Quarter form the best preserved Jewish historical monuments in the whole Europe.

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  • Skibbe's Profile Photo

    Jewish Quarter

    by Skibbe Written Sep 5, 2011

    Interesting and heartbreaking area. This quarter dates back to the 13th century though it was of course wiped out by the Holocaust. Especially moving for me was the Pinkas Synagogue where the names of 80,000 Czech victims of the Holocaust are written. Those names just go on and on, covering so many walls. That synagogue also had drawings by children held in the ghetto by the Nazis. Many of them were of nature and their longing to see it again, though few would.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Back to the Jewish District

    by Nemorino Written Jun 4, 2011

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    After turning in my bicycle at Praha Bikes at the end of the tour, I walked back to the nearby Jewish District for another look.

    Since I had recently re-learned the words telemon/atlas/atlant (with the help of VT member german_eagle while I was writing one of my Bruchsal tips), I wanted to get a photo of two of these stone men supporting part of the façade of the corner building at Široká 64/12, which also houses the Franz Kafka Café.

    I didn't go into the Franz Kafka Café, so I can't say if it is as bad as most reviewers make it out to be. The website Literary Traveler describes the Franz Kafka Café as "a pub that merely appropriates his name".

    Like most buildings in Prague, this one has two numbers. The number 64 is left over from an old system of lot numbering and for most purposes can safely be ignored. The number 12 is the one you can use to find the building when you are walking along Široká Street.

    Second photo: A wider view of the building at Široká 64/12.

    Third photo: Franz Kafka Café at Široká 64/12.

    1. Two telemons (atlantes) holding up the fa��ade 2. A wider view of the building at ��irok�� 64/12 3. Franz Kafka Caf�� at ��irok�� 64/12
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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Jewish Quarters

    by muratkorman Updated Sep 3, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This part of Prague is dominated by synagogues, jewish cemetery, museum and other Jewish buildings. To be exact, you can visit Prague Jewish Museum, Old-New Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue and Old Jewish Cemetery. There are walking tours covering this part of Prague or you may choose to set your own pace. The admission fees are highly exaggerated and if you compare with the castle tickets, you see less and you pay more. However, in order to know more about Jewish way of life, it is a good way to get some impressions. The buildings around this area are also impressive and worth taking some pictures.

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    Memorial to injustice

    by BurgerQueen Written Aug 24, 2010

    Jewish were heavily persecuted in the Czech Republic during the Second World War, and they also had a hard life in Prague. They were all confined in the worse district of the city and forced to live in terrible conditions because of their faith. Many Jewish people are still living in this district which has been completely renovated, its sinagogues are still active and you can visit the Jewish cemetery (where thousands of Jewish people were buried together because there was no other place where they could rest in peace) and the Jewish museum where you'll see the drawings of some Jewish kids lately deported to concentration camps.

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  • no1birdlady's Profile Photo

    Interesting Jewish Quarter in Prague

    by no1birdlady Updated Aug 15, 2010

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    The Jewish Quarter in Prague is interesting. This is a separate area called a "ghetto" from an Italian word meaning separate area. It's known as Josefov and was separated from the Old Town by walls and gates. This is the only Central European Jewish Town-Quarter that survived the holocaust during WWII. The cemetary here dates from the 5th century and is behind the synagague. Bodies were buried here in layers because of lack of space. There are up to 12 layers. 12,000 Jewish graves have been preserved. In 1848 the Jews were set free from laws and moved. Many old buildings were torn down and art noveau buildings put up in their places so only a few original buildings remain. But it's quite interesting to see the area, especially the cemetary.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Josefov

    by Jim_Eliason Written Aug 9, 2009

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    A large jewish community lived in Prague ever since the 10th century. For most of their history they were restricted to live in ghettos in this neighborhood. The community was mostly wiped out by the Nazi invasion and continued repression in the communist era. In 1994 President Havel returned the synagogues and historic sites back to the rebuilding jewish community.

    Josefov Josefov Josefov Josefov Josefov
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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    The Old Jewish Quarter

    by Tom_Fields Written May 4, 2009

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    Prague's first Jewish ghetto began in the 10th century. They hung on through the centuries, despite vicious persecution. In the late 18th century, the Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II restored the Jewish Quarter and allowed the people to live in peace. So this area was named the Josefov, in his honor. The Jews were finally granted full civil rights in 1848.

    The Nazis murdered about 90 percent of the Jews in Prague. They intended to turn the ghetto into an open-air museum. So despite everything that happened, the buildings survived. Today, the Josefov has been re-opened to visitors.

    Its most outstanding feature is the historic Jewish Town Hall, an impressive Renaissance building from the late 16th century. Be sure to visit the Old Jewish cemetery, with its roughly 20,000 grave stones packed into a tiny space. The synagogues also remain intact.

    The Jewish Town Hall The Old Jewish Cemetery One of the Synagogues
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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Jewish Quarter

    by easterntrekker Written Jul 20, 2008

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    We arrived here at about 7Pm and so many of the tourists had filtered out. It was peaceful to stroll around. We paused to think of the many who once lived here and were persecuted from this area . We found the Synagog of the Old and New built in the 1200's.There are lots of little shops and restaurants here too but they were closed .

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  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Jewish Quarter/Josefov

    by german_eagle Written Feb 17, 2008

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    In the Jewish Quarter north of Staromestske Namesti you can see some old synagogues and a Jewish cemetery. They are parts of the Czech Jewish Museum. They are certainly interesting and give an overview of Jewish life in Prague before WWII. I personally didn't have enough time to do it justice and also didn't want to spend that much money (quite expensive admission fee) for just an hour or two.

    If you visit then definitely see the Old-New Synagogue, the Jewish Town Hall and the cemetery.

    Old-New Synagogue Spanish Synagogue
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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    The jewish quarter in Prague

    by Luchonda Updated Dec 13, 2007

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    Jews had first settled in Prague in the 10th century, near the Prague castle which is just across the Vltava river from Josefov. At the time of the First Crusade in 1096, the first recorded pogrom took place in Prague when Jews were systematically killed by the Crusaders. This violence may have been what prompted the Jews to move to the present Josefov quarter of Prague, near the Old Town, in the 12th century. In the 13th century, the Pope decreed that the Jews should be segregated from the Christians and a wall was built around the Jewish quarter.

    The highest synagoge in Prague The jewish quarter The Prague Theatre Jewish Ceremonial Hall
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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Strolling around in the old part

    by Luchonda Written Dec 13, 2007

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    The Jewish district of Prague- Josefov. There are several synagogues (4) in this area.
    Pinkas Synagogue is one of them, a former private synagogue and actually reformed as a Holocaust memorial (77.000 jewish people died in the second WW). The old Jewish Cemetery is an extention of the synagogue. Walking around this area means opening your eyes.
    If you look up you will enjoy a lot of "Jugendstil architecture - builded in the early 20th century" and nice looking buildings. The jewish district is located near the old square of Prague
    So don't miss it

    Street scene Jugendstil deco's
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  • lashr1999's Profile Photo

    Josefov Part 2

    by lashr1999 Written Jul 29, 2007

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    When here, I brought a pass which included all the Jewish sites. The old-new synagogue was a separate ticket which I did not purchase. We did not get to see all the sites. However, I will describe the ones we managed to see. The first site we went to was the old Jewish cemetary which is said to be the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe. It was created in 1478. Since then until about 1787, it is said that 100,000 to 200,000 Jewish residents were buried here. It is said the bodies are stacked one on top of another in layers as much as twelve deep. This was since there are so many people to be buried in such a small space. There are about 12,000 gravestones, some are intact some are broken. The Jewish museum has been trying to conserve and restore the cemetery since 1990. The most famous Jews buried here are Rabbi Low and Mordechai Maisel. Close to here is the Pinkas synagogue which was our next stop. This synagogue was founded in 1479 by Rabbi Pinkas. Over the centuries it was rebuilt numerous times. There are 2 features that will strike you in this building. The first is the inscriptions on the walls of the Jewish Czeck victims of the Nazi’s. There are 77297 names inscribed on the walls. The next thing that is very moving is the collection of paintings and drawings of children held in the Terezin concentration camp of WWII.
    Next we went into the Spanish synagogue which was built in 1868. The interior of the building was beautiful with its Spanish and Moorish influences. There were intricate carving and bright colors were used in various art. Don’t forget to look up at the beautiful high dome. There was an exhibition on the life of Bohemian Jews which was pretty good.
    One thing you can see for free is the outside of the Jewish town hall. The hall was built in the 18th century and there are 2 clocks on the Rococo facade. The upper clock has Roman numeral and reads moves clockwise. The lower clock is inn Hebrew and moves counterclockwise. It is a beautiful thing to see that is free.

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  • lashr1999's Profile Photo

    Josefov Part 1

    by lashr1999 Written Jul 29, 2007

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    Two of my friends wanted to visit the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) in Prague to get closer to their Jewish heritage. I decided to tag along since I was curious to see what the inside of a Synagogue looked like and since I had nothing special planned that morning.
    The Jewish Quarter dates back to after the 1st crusade in 1096. Crusaders killed some Jewish people and converted others. During this time the remaining Jews were ordered to settle in one area and leave their original homes in the city. In 1262, the Jewish community living here was granted some self administration. At the end of the 16th century a Jewish mayor and minister of finance used his wealth to develop the ghetto. The ghetto was renamed Josefov or Joseph’s city in 1850 after the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. He issued a toleration Edith in 1781 which freed the Jewish community to move around. Only orthodox Jews and the poor Jews remained in the ghetto. From 1893-1913 many buildings in the quarter ere destroyed to make the city more like Paris.

    At one point it was said there were 50,000 Jews living in Prague. However, the Nazi atrocities and subsequent communist regime caused the population of Jews in Prague to dwindle. It has been estimated that only 10% of the Jews in Prague survived German occupation. Today, the Jewish community on Prague numbers 5000-6000 people. There are 2 kosher restaurants in the area. The Jewish quarter has been overbuilt with 20th century buildings. What remains from pre-1893 are 6 synagogues, the old cemetery and the Jewish Town Hall.

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