"Josefov and the Jewish Museum ( 2 photos)" Jewish Quarter -Josefov - Tip by nicolaitan

Jewish Quarter -Josefov -, Prague: 83 reviews and 147 photos


The two images provided indicate a map of the Jewish Quarter and a key to the featured locations.

Prague Jewish live has been characterized by repeated persecutions. Periodically, Jewish civil rights were severely and increasingly limited. They were forced to live in a swampy area near the Old Town Square, the first ghetto. In 1389, nearly the entire population of 3000 was killed. The 15th Century Hussite wars brought increasing business restrictions and payments for protection. During the 16th Century Prague Renaissance, certain limited rights were granted by the Hapsburgs as the Jewish population assumed a greater role in business. The population swelled as immigrants from other countries arrived. Twice in this century, the Jews were expelled from Prague but then allowed to return. In the early 18th Century Prague had the largest Jewish population in the world.

The tolerant Josef II issued the Edict of Toleration in 1781. Religious freedoms were granted and Jews were allowed to participate in all forms of business and culture. In gratitude, the Jewish ghetto was named Josefov. Jewish life prospered for a prolonged period. In the late 19th Century the overcrowded ghetto was demolished and new streets and buildings created. The only remaining structures are those synagogues and the cemetary forming the Jewish Museum today.
In March 1939, Germany occupied Czech lands. At least two thirds of the 55000 Prague Jews perished during the Holocaust. Life under the Communist regime was no better, with absence of freedom for all. In 1989, Czech reforms led to the fall of Communism. Today only 1700 Jews live in Prague and there is only one rabbi in the entire country.

Prague is filled with Jewish historical sites under the supervision of the Jewish Museum. Over 140000 documents and artifacts are on display. Many were gathered by the Nazis as part of a plan for a "Museum of an Extinct Race". Included are artifacts from Terezin, including the heartbreaking drawings of the children imprisoned there.

Address: Josefov
Directions: From Old-Town Square about 5min north-west.
Phone: +420-224 819 456
Website: http://www.jewishmuseum.cz/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 2, 2006
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