North of the Old Town Square lies Josefov, the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Jewish traders settled in Prague as early as the 9th century. There were constant tensions with the Christian authorities that forced Jews to settle in a certain part of the city in the 13th century. Jews were also restricted in their freedom to trade. The district soon became known as the Jewish ghetto: a densely populated district with narrow alleys. The Jewish Quarter is one of the many important historical sights in Prague.
In 1850, this district was named Josefstadt (Joseph’s City) after Emperor Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, who granted more freedom to the Jews. At the end of the 19th century a large part of the district was destroyed in order to build houses for the wealthy bourgeoisie. Not long after that, during the Second World War, most of the Jews were deported to concentration camps.
One of the oldest synagogues in Europe, the Old New Synagogue (Staronová synagoga) from the 13th century, is located in the district. The Maisel Synagogue is a museum about the history of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia. The Pinkas Synagogue is a memorial for the more than 77,000 Czech Jews who died during the Holocaust. Their names are written on the walls. At the adjacent Jewish cemetery, leading members of the former Jewish community in Prague are buried.
Most of the sights are covered by the Jewish Museum: with one ticket you can visit almost all the buildings, with the exception of the Old New Synagogue, for which you have to pay a separate entrance fee. You also have to pay a separate fee for the Robert Guttmann Gallery. This is a space with temporary exhibitions of Jewish artists. In addition, combination tickets are available that provide access to all the sights.
Website: Jewish Museum
Address: U Staré školy 1
Opening hours: 09.00-18.00 (November - March until 16.30)
Consult the website of the Jewish Museum for the latest price information, opening hours and ticket options.