Old Jewish Cemetery
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Old Jewish Cemetery

Old Jewish Cemetery

As you exit from the Grand Hotel Praha, a short distance away, straight ahead across the Old Town Square you will arrive at Pařížská Street and the quarter called Josefov. The Old Jewish Cemetery is located here. This old cemetery, from the early 15th century, is one of the most important preserved Jewish cemeteries worldwide and, along with the Old-New Synagogue, belongs to one of the most important preserved remainders of Prague's Jewish Town.

The cemetery itself is surrounded by the Pinkas and Klausen Synagogues. There are almost 12,000 tombstones in the cemetery. The cemetery has been expanded several times in the past, but its area has never been sufficient. The Jewish custom says that the individual tombs must not disturb each other and, mainly, the tombstone of the deceased must be preserved.

The lack of space at the Jewish cemetery led, over time, to covering the older levels of stones with soil and raising the original tombstones up to higher levels. This caused, at some places, up to twelve layers of tombs to be lying atop each other. The lifted tombstones are squeezed next to each other and create a picturesque cluster.

The individual tombstones here range from simple ones to ones with rich decorations, as the history of Prague was changing. Without question, the most important person buried here is the religious scholar rabbi Jehuda Liwa ben Becalel, known rather as Rabi Löw. His name is connected to the mythical Old-Prague tale of the creation of a human from soil, the so called Golem. However, according to the tale, Rabbi Low was scared by its strength, which could be misused, so he had Golem stored in the attic of the Old-Prague Synagogue. Until the present, groups of enthusiastic fans search for traces of the truth behind this tale.

Pursuant to the Jewish custom, the visitors place small stones, often with small piece of paper with a written wish, which they believe will be fulfilled by the famous man, on the grave of Rabbi Löw. Your wish to experience the historical atmosphere in the center of the Old Prague, to which this sight belongs, can be fulfilled easily thanks to the Grand Hotel Praha.

 

 

 

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