Prague’s Jewish community has a history going back a very long way indeed

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Prague’s Jewish community has a history going back a very long way indeed. Jewish merchants and money lenders were settling in Prague as early as the 10th century. The original community in the Malá Strana moved in the middle of the 12th century to Josefov.

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Throughout its existence, the Jewish community was confined to clearly marked areas which it could not leave. At the height of its development, 1,900 people were crammed into 93,000m2. From the outset the Jewish population of Josefov set up its own administration and had its own schools and synagogues. The synagogues were the most important places in the ghetto. In medieval times they weren’t only places of worship but also places where Jewish teachers met their pupils. Before the Jewish Town had its own town hall, all public matters were settled in the synagogues too.

Over the course of their history the Jews suffered numerous pogroms. The first is recorded as having happened in 1096 when the first army of crusaders was passing through the city. In 1389 another large pogrom took place in the Jewish ghetto, which the young Avigdor Kara, a future Prague Rabbi, experienced at first hand. He wrote of what he saw in his Selichot – remorseful prayers still read today on days of atonement around the world. The status of Prague’s Jews improved slightly in 1781, when Emperor Josef II issued his so-called ‘Toleration Decree’, which gave the Jewish population access to schooling. In 1848 Jews were given the same rights as everybody else and for the first time in history they were allowed to move out of the ghetto. These reforms meant that almost all the rich Jewish families moved out of the ghetto and poor Czech families moved in. oort cloud . Gradually the ghetto began to deteriorate and become a dangerous, run-down area. At the end of the 19th century the situation in the ghetto had become so bad (for instance, rooms in some old houses were divided up into smaller rooms with a chalk line or a curtain, and each room was inhabited by a whole family), that the Prague authorities decided to demolish it to prevent the spread of illness. Some 300 medieval houses and 20 streets were wiped off the map.

After this, only a small part of the original ghetto remained – todays Jewish Town – Josefov.

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GENERAL INFORMATION ON JUDAISM:

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Life in the name of the Torah 
Jewish traditions and customs

Meaning of „Kosher“
Synagogue
Jewish prayer 
Mordechai Maisel

Rabi Löw
Franz Kafka 
Noted Jewish Personalities
 
Legend of Prague´s Golem

History of the Jewish inhabitants in the Czech lands
Sanitation of the Jewish ghetto

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Map of the Old Jewish Town- Josefov  in Prague:

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Pinkasova synagoga: 50.089283, 14.417005
Starý židovský hřbitov: 50.088983, 14.417166
Maiselova synagoga: 50.088781, 14.418677
Obřadní síň - budova pražského Pohřebního bratrstva: 50.090037, 14.417031
Staronová synagoga: 50.089926, 14.418488
Klausová synagoga: 50.090350, 14.421120
Vysoká synagoga a židovská radnice: 50.089971, 14.418582
Španělská synagoga: 50.090209, 14.421019
Jewish Museum in Prague (Židovské muzeum): 50.090649, 14.420930

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MAIN MONUMENTS OF THE PRAGUE OLD JEWISH TOWN:

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Prague Jewish Town – Josefov (Pražské židovské město)
Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova synagoga)
Pinkas Synagogue (Pinkasova synagoga)
Old Jewish Cemetery (Starý Židovský Hřbitov)
Klausen Synagogue (Klausová synagoga)
Jewish Ceremonial Hall – building of Prague Burial Society
Old New Synagogue (Staronová Synagoga)
Jewish Town Hall (Židovská radnice)
High Synagogue (Vysoká synagoga) 
Spanish Synagogue (Španělská synagoga)
Jewish Museum (Židovské muzeum)

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Map of the other Jewish Monuments in Prague:

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Židovské památky mimo cetrum: 50.087371, 14.420820

Jubilee Synagogue in Jerusalem Street (Jubilejní synagoga v Jerusalémské ulici)
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague´s Žižkov(Starý židovský hřbitov na Žižkově)
New Jewish Cemetery (Nový židovský hřbitov)
Smíchov Synagogue (Smíchovská synagoga)
Old Jewish Cemetery in Smíchov
(Starý židovský hřbitov na Smíchově)

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DOWNLOAD: Tourist guide PRAGUE PRAGUE CITY LINE 1

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Průvodce Praha 1 - ENG - úvodní stránka

  Tourist guide PRAGUE CITY LINE - Prague 1 (14,7 MiB)

Prague 1 still belongs to one of the most attractive parts of the whole Prague. Probably nowhere else you can find such a concentration of historic monuments and places where the history and romance of bygone times are all around you. Hardly anywhere you can walk on the same paths where were walking Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the Golem of Prague.

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PHOTO GALLERY :

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