Jewish Quarter Sights | Prague Sightseeing

A section of Old Town traditionally inhabited by the Jewish community in Prague who started settling in this area around the 10th century; this former Jewish ghetto, which housed over 18,000 people, is no longer present as people were mistreated during pogroms throughout the centuries, the first creating the ghetto in 1096 and the worst being in 1389, when 1,500 were massacred on Easter Sunday. The Jewish Community, however, began to flourish in the 16th century under their Jewish Mayor, Mordecai Maisel, who in turn, became the Minister of Finance. The legend of Golem also surfaced around this time. In 1850, the district was renamed Josefov in honor of Josef II, Holy Roman Emperor, who issued the Tolerance Patent in 1781, which guaranteed religious equality to the Jewish population. During 1893-1913 the majority of buildings were demolished in order to make the district more Parisian; the remainder of Josefov included six synagogues, the Old Jewish Town Hall, and the Old Cemetery. During WWII, Hitler left Josefov alone, even expanded its wealth with Jewish artifacts, as he wished to house ‘an exotic museum of an extinct race’ at the end of the war. Josefov today is home to the Prague Jewish Museum, The Museum of Decorative Arts, high-end shopping, and fine dining and is also the birthplace of the great Franz Kafka.

  • Prague's Old-New Synagogue Old-New Synagogue

    The oldest of Prague's Jewish Quarter sights, the Old-New Synagogue is the oldest surviving Synagogue in all of Europe, and is surrounded by history, mysteries and legends; its attic is purported to be the home of Prague's Golem, a creature created and animated by Rabbi Loew to protect the Jewish citizens of Prague, another legend claims that its foundations stones hail from the ruined Temple of Jerusalem and were loaned by angels on condition that they be returned when the...

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  • Spanish Synagogue | Jewish Quarter | Exterior Spanish Synagogue

    The Spanish Synagogue is by far the most spectacular temple in the Jewish Quarter. It was inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, hence the title Spanish Synagogue. The Synagogue is stunning with an abundance of Moorish tile motifs of flowers and geometric patterns in brilliant reds, blues and greens with gold trim. The interior boasts color on the ceiling, walls, and stained glass windows.

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  • St. Agnes | Jewish Quarter | Gothic Detail Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia

    Founded by Princess Agnes of the Premyslid dynasty in 1231, the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia is the oldest Gothic building in Prague and was used by the Order of Saint Clare, also known as the Order of Poor Ladies (the second Franciscan order established, founded by St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi in 1212). The convent was influential as a spiritual center in Prague and also was used as the burial spot for the Premyslids. The Dominicans...

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  • Pinkas Synagogue | Prague Pinkas Synagogue

    Located in Prague’s evocative Jewish Quarter is the Pinkas Synagogue. Rabbi Pinkas founded the synagogue in 1479, as he was a wealthy member of Prague’s Jewish community. The Pinkas Synagogue today is an important memorial for the victims of the Nazis. On the walls of the synagogue, specifically the wall of the main nave were written after WWII names of 77,297 Jewish victims from Bohemia and Moravia that did not survive the Terezin Camp. The memorial was designed and created...

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  • Old Cemetery | Jewish Quarter | Tombstones The Old Jewish Cemetery

    This evocative cemetery was created in the 15th century when the Jewish community was prohibited to bury their deceased outside the ghetto walls. It is estimated that there are around 12 layers of graves, as space was very scarce. Over 100,000 people were compactly buried in the Jewish Cemetery, which is nestled in Old Town among huge trees; the tranquility of the area and the numerous lopsided tombstones create an extraordinarily mystic atmosphere.

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