Monday, 30 April 2012

The Old Jewish cemetery in Josefov district, Prague

Josefov is the Jewish district of Prague. Many tourists visit this area which is located in the middle of the city. This was not always the case. Josefov was a ghetto, an area which was a prison of the Jews already in the 15th century. Jews could not be buried outside this district. This was the only possible cemetery. If you walk through the cemetery you see about 12.000 simple erected gravestones but a multiple of people are buried here. On each place almost ten people are buried on top of each other, more than a 100.000 people.

The most famous person buried here is Rabbi Löw who created the Golem, a living monster out of clay, for the protection of the ghetto against intruders and enemies. The Golem himself is not resting on this cemetery but in the old-new synagogue. The legend tells when it is necessary; he will be called to life again.

Josefov is de Joodse wijk in Praag. Vele toeristen bezoeken dit gebied gelegen in het midden van de grootstad. Dit was niet altijd het geval. Josefov was een getto, een gevangenis voor de Joden reeds in de 15de eeuw. Joden mochten niet begraven worden buiten de wijk. De enige mogelijkheid was deze begraafplaats. Als je door het kerkhof wandelt, zie je 12.000 eenvoudige rechtstaande zerken maar veel meer mensen vinden hier hun rustplaats. Op iedere plaats liggen ongeveer tien personen op elkaar begraven, met meer als 100.000. 

De meest beroemde persoon die hier begraven ligt is Rabbi Löw die de Golem heeft gemaakt, een levend monster uit klei, die het getto beschermde tegen indringers en vijanden. De Golem ligt niet op het kerkhof maar heeft volgens de legende zijn laatste rustplaats in de Oud-Nieuw Synagoge. De legende vertelt dat wanneer het nodig is, de Golem weer tot leven kan geroepen worden.. 

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Cemetery Josefov

Previous Prague article: General impressions of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic

Previous Cemetery article: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendale (Flanders)

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20 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, I have never seen a cemetery like this, so over-crowded, so sad!!! Truly unbelievable.

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  2. ben nooit in Praag geweest en wil er toch wel echt graag eens werk van maken
    in t algemeen heb ik pas recentelijk ontdekt dat kerkhof fotografie toch wel speciaal is en interessant materiaal oplevert

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  3. Zo dicht op/onder elkaar, Filip... Wel heel netjes...
    Lie(f)s.

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  4. I think so unlikely that a rabbi has created a monster legend. The Jews did not worship God, especially the Orthodox. Incoherent story. Now the lion is meaningless. The lion represents Jesus, the lion of the tribe of Judah.

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  5. Wow, what a fascinating cemetery. A bit crowded but very full of history. Very interesting post!

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  6. I have visited the old Jewish cemetery in Prague - it is a truly amazing and moving experience.

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  7. This is one of the most moving places I have ever been. The way the ground has settled and the tombstones falling in to and on top of each other. So powerful!

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  8. Ι ve been there my friend. A very interesting place. greetings

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  9. Das habe ich noch nie gesehen. Die Fotos sind beeindruckend. Danke für diesen interessanten Beitrag...
    Liebe Grüße, Karin

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  10. Fascinating, Filip. This has got to be the most crowded cemetery I have ever seen.

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  11. Unbelievable. In history there are many things which are hard to believe today, let alone accept. Thanks for sharing. I haven't seen these before, but I have read about this.
    Regards
    orvokki

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  12. Back in the very olden days, in the past!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Bijzonder om te zien.
    Groetjes, Mirthe

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  14. What an intriguing place!

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  15. This is incredible! I am planning a visit to Prague next February and will certainly want to see this. Thanks for sharing! Christa

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  16. heel indrukwekkend Filip, groetjes Dietmut

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  17. a bit scary for me, to visit cemetry without a grave of someone you want to bring flowers too...it looks indeed very squeezed;

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  18. Isn't this amazing? Glad you went there.

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  19. looks very crowded as if these people were buried standing up. Fascinating.

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