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The Old Jewish Cemetery

Architecture in Prague: The Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov

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The Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, the Jewish Quarter, was created in the 15th century when Jews were forbidden to bury their dead outside their own district.
Tombstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic.

Tombstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, the Jewish Quarter of Prague

Photo © Glen Allison/Getty Images
Space was scarce in the Old Jewish Cemetery, so bodies were buried on top of each other. Historians estimate that the graves are layered about 12 deep. Over the centuries, lopsided tombstones formed unruly, poetic groupings.

The surrealist author Franz Kafka enjoyed moments of quiet reflection in the Old Jewish Cemetery. However, his own grave lies across town in the New Jewish Cemetery. That burial ground is half empty because the generation it was built for was transported to Nazi death camps.

See Photos of the Jewish Quarter in Prague

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