Jewish Prague, Czech Republic Photos
PURCHASE GREAT MEMORIES OF YOUR TRIP TO THE JEWISH QUARTER IN PRAGUE- FOR HOME OR OFFICE.
This gallery features photos ofJosefov, the Jewish Quarter in Prague, Czech Republic.
Josefov- Jewish Quarter in Prague
The Hebrew and Roman faced clocks, (the clock with the Hebrew letters turns counterclockwise) are the roof tops of the Jewish Community Federation of the Czech Republic and the Jewish Town Hall. The Jewish Town Hall was built in the 16th century by the Jewish mayor of Josefov. Today, it serves as the center of the Jewish community in Prague and houses the offices of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Lands. .
The Jewish Museum rents the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, the Klausen Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue from the Jewish Community to display items belonging to the museum.
Hitler intended the entire Jewish Quarter of the city to become a museum to the vanished race. The Germans hired Dr. Karel Stein, historian and founder of the museum, to catalogue tens of thousands of confiscated items from more than 153 destroyed Jewish communities throughout Bohemia and Moravia. The wartime Jewish staff of the museum during Nazi rule devoted themselves to preserving this legacy, amidst constant threat of deportation and death, having already lost their families to the Nazi concentration camps. The staff only survived while they could prove that they were useful to the Nazis. The vast majority lost this fight and were deported to Terezin and Auschwitz. One survived however; Hana Volavkova returned to Prague after the war and became the director of the Jewish Museum. The museum became a storehouse for over 200,000 objects, books and archival material from all over Central Europe. Following World War II, the museum was administered by the Council of Jewish Communities in Czechoslovakia. In 1950, ownership was transferred to the state, and the museum was renamed the State Jewish Museum. After the collapse of communism in 1989, the museumís status changed again. It is now an independent body governed by a council.
The Old Jewish Cemetery
It is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe, opened from the 15th century to the late 18th century. In 1439, Avigdor Kara was the first person to be buried there. Over the next 400 years, about 200,000 residents of the ghetto in Prague were buried in its confines. Since the cemetery could only hold about 10 percent of that amount, the tombs are layered on top of each other, at one section reaching 12 layers. Two of the cemeteryís most famous tombs are Rabbi Loew (1609) and Mordechai Maisel (1601). Since 1990, the Jewish Museum of Prague has been conserving and restoring the cemetery. Today, about 12,000 tombstones remain.
The new ceremonial hall of the burial society, which is located by the entrance to the Old Jewish Cemetery, was erected on the site of an earlier building in 1906-08. The ground and upper floors of the Ceremonial Hall house a part of the exhibition Jewish Customs and Traditions.
Altneuschul (the Old-New Synagogue).
The Old-New Synagogue was originally built in 1270 and was called the New Synagogue because it was the second synagogue built in the Jewish quarter; the first synagogue no longer exists. The original floor still exists, however, other parts of the building have been rebuilt because of damage from flooding in the Jewish quarter. It is the oldest synagogue in Europe. During the Nazi occupation, it showcased Jewish art, religious objects and books. Today, services are sometimes conducted there, continuing a tradition of nearly 700 years (only interrupted between 1941-1945).
The Maisel Synagogue was originally built in 1591, thanks to a special permit given by Emperor Rudolph II.
This synagogue is named after Mordechai Maisel, whose money was used to build the synagogue. It has been damaged in several fires and its current facade is due to reconstruction in 1862 to 1864. In the 19th century, the synagogue was the birthplace of liberal Judaism. During the Holocaust, it housed more than 15,000 Jewish objects and art. Today, it functions as the primary repository of religious objects, such as silver Torah pointers and crowns, for the Jewish Museum
The Pinkas Synagogue built in 1492.
Located in a flood zone, it was frequently being repaired and reconstruction occurred in 1953. One of its famous members was Franz Kafka, who prayed there with his family. Following World War II, it became a memorial to Moravian and Bohemian Jews who perished in the war. On the walls of the synagogue, there is a list of 77,297 names of those who died. Following the communist occupation in August 1968, all of the names were erased, but these areas have since been restored. The synagogue was closed from 1968 until 1992 because of the penetration of underground water. Today, it is open for viewing of over 77,000 names of Jews murdered in the Holocaust as well as a display of Jewish children pictures and drawings from Terezin on the upper level.
Built in 1867 to 1868, using Moorish decorations, the Synagogue provides an architectural contrast to the other synagogues in Prague because its interior is filled with Moorish and Islamic designs and art. During the Holocaust, it was used to store Torah curtains. Today, it houses the headquarters for the entire Jewish Museum system.The stained glass windows are very impressive and worthy of viewing for more than a casual glance. This gallery features several of them.
The Jerusalem Synagogue was built in the years 1905-1906. The synagogue is an interesting example of an Art Nouveau stylisation of a Moorish design. The synagogue is an unique monument of Prague architecture of the beginning of the Twentieth Century as well as anexample of synagogal architecture of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire . Also known as the Jubilee Synagogue, it is located in the New Town of Prague and is currently used to hold shabbat services on Saturday mornings.
Monument to Czech Paratroopers Who Assasinated Heydrich
A Monument on the feeway to Terezin was dedicated in 2009 at the spot where paratroopers Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis assasinated SS commander Reinhard Heydrich, an architect of the Holocaust. The attack took place on May 27,1942. Both paratroopers were killed on June 18, 1942 in a gun battle with gestapo at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church on Resslova Street in Prague.
Terezin National Cemetery and Prison Camp Fortress
Terezin town, crematorium, and the fortress is a sight not to be missed. It is located about 40 miles northwest of Prague. The model town by the Nazis to fool the International Red Cross into thinking Jews were being treated fairly is now a museum of the holocaust. Most Jews died of starvation. Those over the age of 16 were deported from this "Model Camp" to death camps. The photo captures the fortress in the background which functioned as a gestapo prison, the Star of David showing the Jewish people endured and survived as a people, and the National Cemetery which has 10,000 victims of Nazi murder by starvation and disease, at Terezin town ghetto and this prison. Contact us if you are interested in seeing other photos of Terezin. Also, we can recommend an excellent guide (Head Conservative Rabbi of Prague who has extension knowledge of Terezin).
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Some useful travel resources are:
The Jewish Community of Prague
Synagogues and the Jewish Community in Prague