The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Prague Jewish Quarter

We spent one morning touring the Old Jewish Quarter in Prague. The picture of the statue is by Franz Kafka. The mosaic is of the Golem...a very interesting tale of how the Jewish people survived in the area hundreds of years ago. Well worth looking up and reading about. Interesting legend...
We toured about 6 synogogues and museums and really learned alot. Most would not allow photography but I did pay a fee to take pictures in the cemetery (the fee goes to help restore the tombstones, which are incredibly old and in a state of disrepair. The Jewish quarter is the oldest in Europe and the cemetery is the 2nd oldest in Europe, with the oldest tombstone dating back to Apr 23, 1439. There are areas that some of the graves are 12 sites deep...there are over 20,000 tombstones toppling over each other. The last person buried in this cemetery was in 1787. The most popular grave to visit is that of Rabi Jehuda Loew Ben Bezalel, who lived around the turn of the 17th century. He ties into the legend of the Golem.
There was one synogogue that we went into had the names of all the Jews from Prague that were killed in the concentration camps. It was overwhelming. The top floor had drawings and letters from children in camps...awaiting to be sent on trains further west to be killed. It was really very powerful.

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