In pictures

The Prague Jewish Cemetery // In pictures

Prague's Jewish cemetery

Hidden away behind the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague’s Jewish Quarter – or Josefov –  is the city’s Old Jewish Cemetery. It dates back to the 15th century and the oldest gravestone belongs to the poet Avigdor Karo who was buried here in April 1439. There are about 12,000 gravestones packed into this small area, at crooked angles and entangled with vegetation. It’s forbidden to move Jewish headstones, so as space in the cemetery ran out, more layers of earth were added and the stones were packed in closer and closer together until the cemetery went out of use in the 18th century. It’s estimated that there could be up to 100,000 bodies buried here altogether as below ground tombs lie up to 12 layers deep.

Jewish cemetery
Gravestones in the cemetery
Prague Jewish cemetery
Gravestones in Prague

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The Prague Jewish Cemetery – On the Luce travel blog

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    August 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I remember finding this cemetery by accident when I visited Prague. There was a little museum there and they were raising money to have the names of all those who died in the holocaust re-written on a memorial. There was also a collection of paintings by children from the camps. Are they still there? It was a very moving experience and one I will never forget.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks for the tip off as otherwise I’m not sure we’d have thought to visit! Yes the paintings are still there and they now have the walls in the lower part of the synagogue covered with the names of all the Holocaust victims which is quite an amazing sight. It was a very atmospheric place.

      • Reply
        Kathryn
        August 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm

        Oh yes, I forgot that! Glad you found it interesting.

  • Reply
    Browsing the Atlas
    August 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Beautiful pictures.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Thanks, it was a really interesting place to visit.

  • Reply
    Gerard
    August 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    That’s very interesting.

    In New York State when a person is buried the grave is there forever and cannot be used for anything else. You can’t give it to someone else and you can’t build anything on it.

    However, in most of Europe, or at least in some countries, a person gets a grave for about 20 years, afterwards someone else gets it. That’s why I find this post very interesting.

  • Reply
    Travelbunny
    August 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Lovely atmospheric photos Lucy – we didn’t have time for this on our visit so good to see via yor blog 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Suzanne, always hard to fit everything in on a short trip but it’s good to have an excuse to go back again!

  • Reply
    Nadia Shopova
    August 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

    The graveyard was one of the places I miss to visit while staying in Prague couple of years ago. I will certainly go to see it in my next trip. Great pictures!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 13, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, hope you manage to make it there on your next trip!

  • Reply
    Erik Smith (@eriksmithdotcom)
    August 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    These are really great, especially your use of black and white!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 13, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Thanks Erik, I love taking photos in cemeteries, there’s always some great details and they seem to come out even better in black and white.

  • Reply
    Madhu
    August 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Wow, that is a bit too close for comfort! Beautiful photos Lucy!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Tightly packed aren’t they! It meant you could only walk around the outside but still managed to see some of the details.

  • Reply
    ursulamanso
    August 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Very curious… If you have some time please take a look at my blog: http://travelingtobrazil.wordpress.com

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Thanks for visiting, and good luck with your blog. I would love to visit Brazil someday so look forward to reading about it.

  • Reply
    Deep Soul Surfer
    August 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Really nice pictures. I love this place. It was one of my favorite spots in Prauge. It’s unique, as everything there is overwhelmingly beautiful . . . and this place is so mystically calm and peaceful. Really nice place. I miss Prauge;)

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, it is a really beautiful place, I love that it’s so hidden away and from the street you wouldn’t know it was there.

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