Visiting the Jewish Quarter
Instead of leaving the gardens the way we had entered we excited through the gate near the metro stop of Malostranska. From there it was a short walk across the bridge to the old Jewish quarter. With my morbid obsession of cemeteries I knew before we even came to Prague that we had to visit the Jewish cemetery, but also to find out more about the history of Jews in Prague since there is a whole Quarter of the Old Town dedicated to them. The old Jewish cemetery is one of the oldest in Europe and dates back to the 14th century and it is believed to be the burial ground of more than 12.000 Jews. The entrance to the old cemetery is via the Pinkas Synagoge but we first had to queue for tickets when we got to the entrance. There are three types of tickets available, depending on how many of the sights in the Jewish section of the town you would like to visit. We chose the most basic ticket, which included the cemetery and the Spanish synagogue.
In order to get into the cemetery you first had to enter the Pinkas Synagogue. The entire walls of the synagogue are covered with the names of all the Czech and Moravian Jews who perished under the Nazi regime in WWII. The 80.000 names were hand written over a timeframe of 4 years and are not only meant as a reminder of the holocaust, but also to give human names to victims, who were only marked by numbers at the moment of death. The rooms are definitely a thought provoking exhibit and reminder about the horrors of the war.
On the first floor we found the many drawings of children from the Terezin concentration camp. These drawings and the names on the wall drew many curious comments and questions from Jerome who has some knowledge of the holocaust and World War II but has yet to lean about it in detail in school.
The Old Jewish Cemetery
Upon entering the Old Jewish Cemetery