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Prague Jewish Town – explore traditions and architecture

The Prague Jewish Town offers a peek into Jewish customs and architecture, prevalent from the medieval era to the present age. The Jewish quarters are unique in that they serve as a reminder of the past, and also, has a well settled Jewish community that is very much at home in the modern world.

History –

The township was created in the medieval ages to house the Jews of Prague who were barred from living anywhere else. During the upheavals of the 20th century, The township was known as the Museum of an Extinct Race by the Nazis and was preserved on the orders of Adolf Hitler. Many of the riches from Nazi occupied territories were exhibited here. The exhibits are still here, and this makes the museum here one of the most sought after for those looking to understand Jew culture and history down through the ages.

Synagogues –

Among the major attractions at this site is the group of six synagogues. One of the major ones, the Pinkas, has a section dedicated to the Holocaust victims. All these heritage buildings offer fine examples of Jewish architecture.

Spanish synagogue –

The Spanish Synagogue offers a look into the architecture trends prevalent 200 years ago, and is a fine example of Spanish and Moorish blend of architectural styles. The rich embellishments are the premier attractions at this site. Here, you can find carvings and frescoes decorating almost every viewable surface, be they walls, doors, or railings, and even the domed ceiling. Another notable attraction is the stained glass windows.

Old New Synagogue –

The main reason to visit this site would be the age of the building. This place of worship was built more than 700 years ago, and is among the oldest in Europe. This is also still in use as a place of worship by the people living in the Prague Jewish town.

Jewish Museum –

If you are looking to learn more about history and customs from the olden days, this is the right place to visit. Here, you can learn the traditions and history of the Jews of Bohemia and surrounding areas. The museum is more than 100 years old and the exhibits are located across many of the synagogues that form part of the township. Take your time exploring the exhibits – there are literally thousands of them here. You can view silverware made by medieval silversmiths, and textiles from centuries ago. Also on display is a collection of thousands of books.

The Jewish Cemetery –

The cemetery is famous for two notable things. The first is its association with golem. Tradition has it that the rabbi who created the Golem lies buried here. The gravesite is popular with visitors. Another interesting facet is the arrangement of the burial sites. According to custom, the graves are not to be uprooted. This lead to creation of many layers of gravesites one over the other, to make room for more burials as the years went by.

Visitors can use public transport to get to the Jewish Quarter. The Staromestska Line A by Metro will put them within easy walking distance of the area. The same stop for Tram route 17 offers convenient tram travel to visitors.

 

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