Dec 31, 2020
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Holidays in the Czech Republic: the Jewish quarter of Prague “Josefov”

Holidays in the Czech Republic: the Jewish quarter of Prague

A miniature corner of the Czech capital is famous for its valuable exhibits, many of which were Hitler’s merit. It was he who decided to collect a kind of museum of Jews in the city, so that the Nazis brought rarities of the people here from all over Europe, and there are also legends about the rabbi who created the Golem and Kafka is invisibly present in the crowd of tourists.

The quarter is located against the background of the Vltava near the Old Town Square, and history takes you back to the 13th century, when the Jewish community was forced to move here from their city houses. Here culture was formed along with the traditions of the nation, and then Emperor Joseph made her life much easier when he issued his reforms.

Equal rights with the townspeople were obtained in 1848, which already allowed wealthy people to move to luxurious buildings, and this corner gradually fell into desolation. The sanitation in the 19th century was so terrible that the authorities decided to demolish all medieval buildings in order to prevent an epidemic. Today, from the former complex, there are synagogues together with the town hall and the oldest cemetery, but this heritage is enough to appreciate the historical buildings of that time.

The Spanish Synagogue greets all guests with a style of Moorish architectural sophistication, and a sculpture of Kafka sits in front of this building. It was erected by the Sephardim in the 16th century, when they fled from their country from the Inquisition, so the interiors included different design motives, and the abundance of stucco and gilding against the background of frescoes and beautiful stained-glass windows is also striking.

Tourists can see exhibitions of jewelry and church rarities of believers, after which they can listen to a concert or attend a wedding.

Time has saved the old-new synagogue for posterity, and the Gothic building will delight you with its ancient stone walls, where the door leads travelers down the steps to enter a hall with medieval prayer benches. Here, all the treasuries are decorated with baroque elements, and then you can look at the zest of the building and listen to how in the 13th century the old-timers at this place saw the stones and decided that God had given them a sign to erect a temple on earth, reminiscent of the Jerusalem analogue.

There is a legend about the Golem, created from clay to protect the people, but out of the control of the owner. His ashes sleep in the secret room of the sanctuary and wait to be brought back to life, while guests go to the Klaus synagogue to admire the Baroque architecture of 1694 and see the rare manuscripts inside.

The pinkas analogue was built in 1479, and the building survived many floods, and today there is a memorial to the victims of the war with inscriptions of prisoners and drawings of children. The ancient cemetery will take you along the paths to the bizarre heaps of ancient tombs, after which it is worth visiting the burial of the rabbi who created man from clay, and then learn more about many prominent personalities when visiting the ceremonial hall, where there is also an exhibition of Jewish funerals. Such a journey will allow you to discover new Prague pages and set off to explore the new wonders of the city.

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