The Old Jewish Cemetery is an important historical monument of Prague’s Jewish Town, which is situated in the Old Town district in the historical centre of Prague, just a few metres from the Old Town Square. It is considered one of the oldest cemeteries in the world. It was founded in the mid-15th century with the purpose of replacing the cemetery in the New Town. The oldest tombstone is the 1439 stone of Rabbi Avigdor Kar. The most recent and last grave was excavated for Mojžíš Lipman Beck in 1787. The cemetery was abolished by Emperor Joseph II, who forbid people from burying the dead inside the city centre for sanitary reasons. Visitors can see 12,000 tombstones and 400,000 ritually buried remains. The most significant personage buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery is scholar Rabbi Löw. The cemetery area was considerably reduced during the redevelopment of the Old Town and Josefov in 1903.
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Address: Široká 3, Praha 1
GPS coordinates: 50.0891686N, 14.4169336E
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
The closest public transport stops near the Old Jewish Cemetery:
- Staroměstská tram stop
- Staroměstská metro station (Line A – green line)
- Staroměstská bus stop
OPENING HOURS AND ADMISSION
For up-to-date information about the opening hours of the Old Jewish Cemetery, visit the official website. To see the cemetery, visitors can choose from two tours. For information about admission fees, click here.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OLD JEWISH CEMETERY
In the Old Jewish Cemetery, the dead were buried in several layers (sometimes up to 10 layers), because according to their religion, Jews must not destroy Jewish graves and are not allowed to remove the tombstones. Although the cemetery was extended several times, occupying an area of 11,000 m² today, it was not big enough and therefore new layers of soil were placed on the existing graves, thus providing space for new graves. Until the late 16th and early 17th centuries, simple tombstones were used. Later, they were decorated with relief symbols and signs such as grapes, treasure chests, etc., to represent family names. National Geographic Traveller Magazine has listed the Old Jewish Cemetery among its top 10 cemeteries to visit in the world.
OLD JEWISH CEMETERY AND NEARBY HISTORICAL SIGHTS
When visiting the Old Jewish Cemetery, there are plenty of other interesting sights nearby to explore, including the Maisel Synagogue, the Old New Synagogue, the Klausen Synagogue, the Rudolfinum, the Klementinum, the Old Town Square, the Jan Hus Memorial, the Astronomical Clock, the Bethlehem Chapel, St Salvator Church and many others.