Josefov - Jewish Quarter, Prague

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  • catkin's Profile Photo

    Jewish Prague

    by catkin Written Jan 21, 2004

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    Jewish Prague

    Like most cities, Prague has a Jewish quarter. Many Jews moved into the area in the 13th Century although they had been in various locations around the city for hundreds of years
    There are many historical synagogues and an old Jewish cemetery full of ancient, crumbling and fallen headstones and you can get a ticket to allow you to visit them all

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    JOSEFOV(Joseph's town or the...

    by acemj Updated Dec 10, 2003

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    JOSEFOV(Joseph's town or the Jewish neighborhood)
    This neighborhood used to be a Jewish ghetto, but was renamed after Emperor Joseph II. This is the neighborhood of Franz Kafka and you'll find the home where he was born here (I don't know the address, but it's near Old Town Square), as well as an exhibition of his life and work.
    On the other end of Josefov, is the Jewish Museum which includes the Old Jewish Cemetery. This place is in the middle of the city, but it seems eerily peaceful in the shade of some crooked trees that match the crooked and haphazardly laid out gravestones. The oldest gravestone dates to 1439 making this the oldest surviving Jewish burial ground in Europe.

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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    The Jewish Quarter

    by HORSCHECK Updated Nov 15, 2003

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    In the Jewish Quarter

    The Jewish Quarter (Josefov) in Prague used to be one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. The history of the area dates back to the 11th century. It contains many interesting buildings, synagoges and one of Europe's oldest Jewish cemeteries (1478).

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Josefov - the old Jewish Quarter

    by yooperprof Written Aug 30, 2003

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    past and present

    The medieval Jewish quarter of Prague was one of the densely populated and historic in all of Europe - but it was subjected to "slum clearance" in the late nineteenth century, and all that was left were a few synagogues, the old town hall and the Jewish cemetery. Miraculously, these remnants then survived the dark years of Nazi occupation, 1938-1945: Hitler wanted to preserve the ghetto as an "Exotic Museum of an Extinct Race." Sixty years later, there are still Orthodox Jews walking the streets of Josefov, although they are far outnumbered by the tourist swarms. All the same, it's impossible here not to be aware of the tremendous weight of history.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • DrewV's Profile Photo

    Josefov

    by DrewV Updated Jul 23, 2003
    The Old-New Synagogue

    Named for Emperor Joseph II, who gave its inhabitants equal rights under the law, the Jewish Quarter gives an interesting view into the lives of Central European Jews. Hitler did not destroy the synagogues here. He viewed them as a "museum of an extinct people." Still out of evil comes good, the synagogues are in wonderful condition and the Jewish cemetery lies disturbed only by the steps of tourists.

    The Old-New Synagogue is one of the oldest(-newest) synagogues remaining in Europe. Reports that weddings here need only something borrowed and blue have not been confirmed.

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  • dinhyen's Profile Photo

    The facades of Josefov

    by dinhyen Written Jul 17, 2003

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    Art Nouveau building in Josefov

    Prague's former Jewish district is arguably the nicest neighborhood anywhere, Paris included. The district is lined with rows after rows of splendid Art Nouveau buildings. One could go crazy here trying to imagine all the photo ops.

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    Jewish Prague

    by Nykaenen Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Staronov�� synag��ga

    You'll find several synagogues (Vysoká synagóga, Staronová synagóga,...), the Old Jewish Cemetery and a museum all at the same block. However, the admission prices were very high for Prague standards so like most other tourists we just turned away at the gates and visited only the Old New Synagogue (Staronová s.) for which you could buy a separate ticket that was not too expensive.

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  • AndreasK's Profile Photo

    The old Jewish Quarter is a...

    by AndreasK Updated Sep 7, 2002

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    The old Jewish Quarter is a small area known as Josefov between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. The Jewish cemetery, the Old-new synagogue, and the Klausen and Pinkas synagogues are worthwhile sights. The history of the area dates back to the 11th Century when crusaders on their way to the Holy Land massacred the Czech Jews and plundered their properties. Those who survived were forcibly converted to Christianity. The synagogues were burned, their civil rights were limited and they were forced to build their community on the right bank of the Vltava only, thus limiting their movements - the beginning of the Jewish ghetto. Avoid this quarter on Saturdays, because of the Sabbath on this day.

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  • kenbac's Profile Photo

    Jewish Quarter.Josefov.

    by kenbac Written Aug 25, 2002

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    This is a most interesting part of Prague. I understand this is the only remaining Jewish Section of a City in eastern or central Europe. All the others were more or less destroyed by the Germans during the Occupations. I also understand that the Jewish Quarter was left intact on the instructions of Hitler, as he wanted a visual record of an “extinct race”. Something that he nearly succeeded in achieving, but thankfully, not entirely.
    Spend some time strolling around this part of the City. Largely rebuilt in the 1890’s. Beautiful architecture.

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  • pipsqueak's Profile Photo

    Visit the Jewish Quarter...

    by pipsqueak Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Visit the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) in Prague. Once the Jewish Ghetto in Prague, it is home to the Jewish Town Hall, a number of synagogues, and the Old Jewish Cemetary.
    St. Agnes's Convent is also nearby, but no longer houses a collection of impressionist art, the art that remains there is religious in nature.
    The Pinkas Synagogue has walls painted with names as a memorial to the Czech Jews killed during the Holocaust.
    Photo courtesy of Nature_Girl.

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  • el_ruso's Profile Photo

    Josefov - Pinkasova synagogue

    by el_ruso Written Jan 7, 2007

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    This synagogue has been converted into a Holocaust museum and memorial. It is located next to the cemetery.

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    Josefov - Maiselova Sinagoga

    by el_ruso Updated Jan 7, 2007

    Maiselova houses the most comprehensive Jewish museum in Josefov. guides can explain further the use of various cult objects and the Jewish history in Prague.

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  • paradisedreamer's Profile Photo

    Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

    by paradisedreamer Written May 23, 2003

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    This used to be a Jewish ghetto where Franz Kafka was born here. The picture is of the old Jewish synagogue.

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  • Josefov

    by sabsi Updated Feb 18, 2003

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    Old Jewish cemetary

    Josefov, the old Jewish quarter and cemetary. I loved walking around the cemetary looking at all the stones people left to remember the dead. But that was before this place was full of tourists!

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