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Old Jewish Cemetery (Prague) by Gili Orr
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Old Jewish Cemetery (Prague) by 


“Old Jewish Cemetery (Prague)” was featured in the groups
Historic Landmarks of Europe and
Bagels and Lox – Jewish Photographers Unite!

3510 views (11 August 2011)

Photo taken with a Canon PowerShot S70 camera.
Must admit: I got quite emotional while taking photos in that unique cemetery, which brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings concerning my people, the Jews. I got emotional again while going through my file, looking for the photo I would post here.

Following is info from two Internet sources:

One of the most impressive sights in Prague [Czech Republic] is the Old Jewish cemetery in Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto. This cemetery was used from 1439 to 1787 and it is the oldest existing Jewish cemetery in Europe. The Nazis made it a policy to destroy Jewish cemeteries, sometimes using the tombstones for target practice, but Hitler ordered that this cemetery be left intact, since he was planning to build a Jewish museum in Prague after all the Jews in Europe had been exterminated according to his diabolical plan.

There are more than 100,000 Jews buried in this small plot, the graves being layered 12 deep in some places. This is not unusual for European cemeteries where space is at a premium. In Germany where the graves are also 12 layers deep, the tombstones mark only the top layer of the buried coffins. In the Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, there are around 12,000 tombstones, crowded closely together with almost no grass between them.
Source: Josefov

The Old Jewish Cemetery lies in the Josefov (the Jewish Quarter of Prague). It was in use from the early 15th century (the oldest preserved tombstone, the one of Avigdor Kara, dates back to 1439) until 1787. Its ancestor was a cemetery called “The Jewish Garden”, which was found in archaeological excavations under the Vladislavova street, New Town.

The numbers of grave stones and numbers of people buried there are uncertain, because there are layers of tombs. However, it has been estimated that there are approximately 12,000 graves. The most important personalities buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery are Yehuda ben Bezalel known as the Maharal Rabbi Löw (d. 1609), Mordechai Maisel (d. 1601), David Gans (d. 1613) a David Oppenheim (d. 1736).
Wikipedia


Tags

cemetery, czec republich, europe, gili orr, graveyard, heritage, history, jewish, prague

Comments

  • CanDuCreations
    CanDuCreationsalmost 6 years ago

    Dramatic and impressive work

  • Thanks, Thea! It touched me enormously, to see this graveyard, so crowded and falling apart, reading its history, where a lot of the history of my people is enfolded… and anything concerning the combination Nazis and Jews makes me always shiver.

    – Gili Orr

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezalmost 6 years ago

    oh my dear!.. this is wow.. so powerful .. 100,000?.. so much to say here.. I love people and their life stories.. so much history here.

  • Yes, a lot of history… Thanks, Isa!!

    – Gili Orr

  • navybrat
    navybratalmost 6 years ago

    Now this is the most amazing grave I have ever seen so far Gili, I so luv the angle and framing of this one!

  • Really glad to hear that, Jotham!
    I took lots of photos of this graveyard, making choices wasn’t easy… The first one I posted a few days ago was less representative, because it was sent to the Bubble Jeopardy and had to be hard to guess… the place is sooo crowded with these old headstones… I also focused in some photos on specific graves, because I wanted to read the writings later on, at home. I may post some of these later.

    – Gili Orr

  • RoxyLust
    RoxyLustalmost 6 years ago

    :( my jaw hit the floor readin this such intense stuff great work xx

  • Thans, Roxy! It is intense, indeed. I was feeling weird for many hours after visiting this graveyard.

    – Gili Orr

  • itsallgoodamanda
    itsallgoodamandaalmost 6 years ago

    oh this is good ,pretty crowded huh!

  • Amazingly crowded…

    – Gili Orr

  • cougarfan
    cougarfanalmost 6 years ago

    WoW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in Awwwwwwe……… Great capture!

  • Thanks, cougarfan!!

    – Gili Orr

  • Cleburnus
    Cleburnusalmost 6 years ago

    I’ll definitely visit this now that I know of it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  • It is really worth a visit…

    – Gili Orr

  • amarica
    amaricaalmost 6 years ago

    Awsome find, great shot Gili!!!

  • Thanks a lot, Ann!!

    – Gili Orr

  • rodsfotos
    rodsfotosalmost 6 years ago

  • See… I don’t see it… Oh, it may have something to do with the security settings…

    – Gili Orr

  • joan warburton
    joan warburtonalmost 6 years ago

    I’ve heard so much about this graveyard. Wonderful photo. Thanks for posting this. What is that building on the right?

  • Think it’s just one of the neighbouring (apartment) building, not sure… There is a sinagogue next to the graveyard, but I don’t think this was it… don’t remember anymore.

    – Gili Orr

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