Jewish Town, Prague

3.5 out of 5 stars 28 Reviews

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  • Jewish Ceremonial Hall
    Jewish Ceremonial Hall
    by balhannah
  • Jewish Town
    by FruitLover
  • Jewish Town
    by FruitLover
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    JEWISH CEREMONIAL HALL

    by balhannah Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    When I first set eyes on this building, I though it was part of a Castle, I never expected it to be a Ceremonial Hall.
    The building was built in 1912 and was given to the Jewish Burial Society. It was used as a mortuary, where important Jewish people were taken to be prepared for burial.
    What I found interesting, was during the Nazi occupation, they left this building alone.
    Why?
    The Nazis decided not to destroy the museum, but instead use it as a “Museum of an Extinct Race.” Hitler intended the entire Jewish Quarter of the city to become a museum to the vanished race.
    During Nazi rule, the staff devoted themselves to preserving their history even though there was constant threat of deportation and death. Many had already lost their families to the Nazi concentration camps. The staff only survived while they could prove that they were useful to the Nazis, most were deported to Terezin and Auschwitz.

    Now, the Jewish Museum holds a permanent exhibition on Death and anything to do with it.
    The other part of the exhibition is of Jewish Customs and Traditions which deals with the everyday life of Jewish households over the centuries.

    Jewish Ceremonial Hall
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    Typical Jewish buildings

    by FruitLover Written Oct 28, 2011

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    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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    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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    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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    jewish town hall

    by doug48 Written Jun 16, 2008

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    now our virtual tour moves on the the jewish quarter (josefov). in the heart of the jewish quarter is the jewish town hall. it was built between 1570 and 1577 by jewish town mayor mordechai maisel. the tower was added after the war with the swedes in 1648. the baroque facade was added in 1763. today it houses the council of jewish communities of the czech republic. not open to the public.

    jewish town hall
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    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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    Zidovska Radnice

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Dec 30, 2006

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    The Jewish town hall (Zidovska Radnice) was built among 1570 and 1577 by the mayor Mordechai Maisel. In 1763 the facade was modified in a Baroque style. On the roof there is a wooden tower with the clock and a green steeple. The permission to build the tower was granted to the Jewish community as recognition to have participated to the defense of the Charles Bridge against the Swedes. In the eardrum you can see a clock with the Jewish figures and the hands that turn counterclockwise in sense.

    Jewish town hall Jewish town hall
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    Kubisticke Domy

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Dec 19, 2006

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    The Jewish district was reconstructed and cured in the twentieth century. since the precarious hygienic situation constituted a risk for the whole toen. This fact allowed the Prague's architects to experiment new styles. Many buildings of this zone are in Art Nouveau style, but on the angle among the streets Bilkova and Elisky Krasnohorske there is a façade with geometric motives. It deals with cubistic architecture, a very diffused avant-garde in Boeme and in Austria, but well few in the rest of Europe.

    Bilkova Siroka Siroka Parizska Parizska
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  • kylamees's Profile Photo

    Jewish town

    by kylamees Written Aug 26, 2006

    First time I visited this district, too. Some interesting synagogues, but we had few time to enter much of them. Strange, that it was prohibited to take a picture of hanging men (souvenirs) at street shopping, woman came out and started to shout ... :)

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    Information about Jewish town

    by jo104 Updated Mar 20, 2006

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    In 1096 the first recorded pogrom (organised massacre) took place which hastened the formation of the "Jewish Town" within Stare Mesto during C12. Much later the Jews were actually herded into a walled ghetto sealed off from the rest of the town & under curfew. The Jews were subject to laws restricting trade & had to wear some form of identification this remained a constant feature of Jewish life until the Enlightenment.

    In 1389 during one of the worst progroms, 3000 Jews were massacred over Easter some while sheltering in the Old-New synagogue - this event is commemorated by Yom Kippur.
    In 1541 a Jew was tortured into confessing a big arson attack thus enabling Emporer Ferdinand I to expel the Jews from Prague

    In Ruldoph II reign (1576-1612) economic prosperity for the Jewish community
    Amid the violence of the 30 year war the Jews enjoyed protection from the Emporer

    Emperor Joseph II (1780-90) who the distric is named after "Josefov" lifted restrictions on Jews, the downside is he banned the use of Hebrew or Yiddish names in business & only allowed to use 109 permitted Germanic male names & 35 female names

    In 1848 the ghetto went into decline & only the poorest Jews & Orthodox families remained. When the Nazi's occupied Prague on March 15, 1939 the Jews were forced to wear the yellow Star of David. In November 1941 the first lot of Prague Jews were sent to the new ghetto in Terezin.

    The Prague ghetto was preserved by Hitler himself as he planned to set up an Exotic Museum of an Extinct Race. By this grotesque twist of fate Jewish artefacts from all over central Europe were gathered here making it the biggest collection of Judacia in Europe

    All sights of Josefov covered by a 300kr ticket except the Old New synagogue requires a seperate entry ticket of 200kr.

    Opening times April-Oct Mon-Sun (excl Sat) 9am-6pm
    Nov-March Mon-Sun (excl Sat) 9am-4.30am

    Remember you are NOT allowed to take photographs inside the synagogue, no mobile phones or stereos & cover shoulders as a sign of respect

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    It will make you think!

    by nhcram Updated Feb 5, 2006

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    Having now been to Prague three times I still find it hard to comprehend the area of Josefov in the city centre. The area is known as the Jewish Quarter. The massacre of Jews in the war is to great to take in. The area always seems to be quiet with people having their own thoughts and memories.
    The Jewish museum is made up of 6 museums and the entrance fee covers all 6. It also includes the Jewish cemetry. There are pictures drawn by children whilst living (if that's what you call it) in concentration camps.
    Photos and thousands of victims names on the walls of the Pinkas musuem are a chilling reminder of the atrocities that took place all those years ago.

    One of the Museums

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  • mauro_pd's Profile Photo

    Jewish culture

    by mauro_pd Written Dec 3, 2005

    Worldwide famous jewish "ghetto" turned into a museum ... more or less impossible to skip while hanging around Prague; nevertheless I always feel a little bit uncomfortable paying to visit religious sites.
    Being you interested in jewish culture her you can find lots of interesting details, being you not, simply look at it from outside ... the queue at the entrance can be tough.

    The cemetery The cemetery The cemetery The cemetery The cemetery
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  • vesna04's Profile Photo

    Jewish Town

    by vesna04 Written Oct 2, 2005

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    To be able to explore this part of Prague's history you need to by the tickets. You can find them in Pikas Synagogue. There are a few types of tickets but one that includes everything is about 20 euros per person.

    Josefov

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  • ophiro's Profile Photo

    Jewish Town

    by ophiro Updated Aug 22, 2005

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    The jewish town is part of my history , as a jew i thought it is MUST VISIT.

    You can see how the jewish community lived here.

    It is very close to the old town center (10 minutes walking).

    Places of interest are the Town Hall, five synagogues (Old-Town, Pinkas, High, Klausen, Maisel) and Old Jewish Cemetery.

    Jewish Town
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