When visiting the city of Prague one may not be aware that the Jewish religion and people play a prominent role in the rich culture and history of Prague. When visiting Prague you will want to take a step back in time and pay respect to the Jewish community by visiting the Jewish Quarter.
The Jewish quarter is home to the oldest synagogue known to exist in Europe. The Synagogue was built in the thirteenth century and is a living testament to the Jewish religion. As you enter into the synagogue you can’t help but feel the eight centuries of worship and devotion that took place within these walls. Gazing around the hallowed walls one can’t wonder how this structure survived throughout the ages.
If you are one for spooky places as well as historical locals you will love the onsite cemetery. The cemetery is home of countless Jewish families. With space being limited the graves within the cemetery are built several levels high with bodies of family members as well as strangers buried one on top of the other.
The Jewish word for cemetery means “house of life” since in the Jewish religion sees death as not an ending but the start of a new existence. This makes visiting the cemetery a welcomed and honored place in the city of Prague.
About one hundred years ago or so the entire Jewish quarter was torn down and rebuilt with more modern buildings. However, a select few of the old buildings are still standing and open to the public. These buildings stand as a testament to the Jewish community of all the years gone by.
With its rich history and commitment to the past there is one more place that you must visit when visiting the Jewish quarter and this is a synagogue that is a shrine to the fallen Jews of the second world war. In this synagogue you will see several walls with the hand written names of local Jews who lost their lives during the occupation. Also, a haunting reminder is echoed through the halls as all of the names of those fallen are recited in memory through a looping audio track.
If you are Jewish or interested in the history of the Jews vising the Jewish quarter in Prague is a must. Taking your time to learn of the history as well as pay your respect to those who have given their lives in a worthy cause is one of the best reasons to visit the city of Prague.