Our friend Mixon is Jewish and was in Prague last year so on her advice we headed to the Jewish area which for centuries was one of the largest ghettos in Europe and very well developed and organized. It goes back to the 12th century with oldest synagogue (the Old-New Synagogue) dating from the 13th Century. Today there are six synagogues, the city hall, and the old Jewish Cemetery. We bought the muli-tickets for all and so got to see most places. The cemetery is incredible with reportedly 20,000 headstones in there and many more layers of bodies beneath. The oldest is 1439!
During WWII the Jews in Prague were all forced to live in the Ghetto area before being shipped off to the concentration camps. Most were killed or never returned to the area. In one synagogue there was a moving exhibit of children’s drawings all done while in the ghetto or Terazin (the nearest concentration camp). This was very moving to me as were many of the pictures and displays in the other synagogues. It is hard to imagine the thriving community this once was just disappearing almost over night. It made for some very deep discussions with the children. Very moving for all of us.
No pictures of the synagogues or cemetery as you had to pay an extra fee for this and we didn’t realize this when buying our entrance tickets — pay ahead if pictures are wanted. So here are a couple from the area.