The Old Jewish Cemetery
The Old Jewish Cemetery was in active use from 1439 until 1787; it is the oldest surviving Jewish burial ground in Europe. During World War II the Nazis destroyed the majority of Europe’s Jewish cemeteries, sometimes using headstones for target practice. Hitler ordered that the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague be spared, though, so that he could build a Jewish museum there, once all the Jews in Europe had been eradicated. Obviously, Hitler’s plan was never fully carried out, but the cemetery in Josefov remained intact.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 Czech Jews are buried in the cemetery, with graves layered a dozen deep in some sections. Though this practice may seem strange to many travellers, it is actually quite common in many countries where burial space is limited. The approximately 12,000 grave markers in the Old Jewish Cemetery are crowded close together with little open area between them.
The Old Jewish Cemetery is located in the Josefov district of Prague. The gates open at 9am every day except Saturday and on Jewish holidays; booking a conveniently located Prague apartment rental (the Jewish cemetery is a popular spot) will ensure travellers can get there early, as crowds tend to build rather quickly. Entrance to the cemetery is located in front of the Pinkas Synagogue, and the exit is near the Klausen Synagogue.
Admission tickets are required and can be purchased in advance or at any of the synagogues. Children under six are free; discounts are offered for families, children under 15, students, and seniors; and various day passes and ticket packages are also available.
There are very strict rules for visitors to the cemetery that must be followed out of respect for Jewish customs. Men are required to cover their heads either with a typical ball cap or hat or paper hats are provided free of charge for visitors who arrive without head gear. Photography is permitted in the cemetery, but not in any of the synagogues. Visitors must stay on the designated walkways and paths to prevent damage to the grave markers or surrounding area.
When choosing vacation rentals, Prague has many tourist attractions so select your location for convenient access based on your desired activities. One of the most popular areas is Josefov, the one-time Jewish ghetto located in Prague, home to the Old Jewish Cemetery. The cemetery draws thousands of visitors who favour choosing a Prague vacation rental for their city break. Prague has many self-catering apartment rentals to choose from in the vicinity of the cemetery, which is one of the most extraordinary sites in the city.