Prague’s Jewish Quarter (“Židovské město” in Czech) is one of the most impressive places in the capital of the Czech Republic. Josefov, as the quarter is officially named, is at the same time beautiful and wrathful, due to its complicated history.
The former Jewish Ghetto in Prague was demolished in 1897. Nowadays, there are 6 synagogues, the Jewish City Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery. Most of the other buildings were built at the beginning of the 20 th century.
Josefov (also Jewish Quarter; German: Josefstadt) is a town quarter and the smallest cadastral area of Prague, Czech Republic, formerly the Jewish ghetto of the town. It is completely surrounded by the Old Town. The quarter is often represented by the flag of Prague's Jewish community, a yellow Magen David (Star of David) on a red field.
Finally, no description of the Jewish Quarter is complete without a mention of Terezin (Theresienstadt), a concentration camp and Jewish ghetto located to the north of Prague. During the Nazi occupation, many residents of the Jewish Quarter were transported there, and the Terezin Memorial Tour is a sobering excursion to the camp.
There was no legal transition from the Jewish Quarter to the ghetto. It was unstated but understood. Known as Židovské město in Czech (and later Judenstadt in German), the ghetto was the center of Jewish mysticism.
The Prague Ghetto, as it has been called since the 16th century, began as a colony of Jewish tradesmen who came to Prague and settled in this area permanently. In the 13th century, by order of the city administration and the church authorities, an independent district was created and named the Jewish Quarter.
In 1850, this Jewish town became Prague’s fifth quarter and was named Josefov, in memory of the emperor Josef II, who emancipated the Jews and the Ghetto became a reputable quarter, known today as part of Old Town Prague. A Town Hall, six synagogues and a cemetery are preserved from the original Jewish quarter’s neighborhood.
The Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Prague, located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. A Jewish ghetto was established here...
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