The Jewish Quarter in Prague, known as Josefov, is located between the Old Town Square
and the Vltava River
. Its torrid history dates back to the 13th century, when the Jewish community in Prague were ordered to vacate their disparate homes and settle in one area.
Over the centuries more and more people were crowded into the area, as Jews were banned from living anywhere else. Restrictions on their movements and the trades they were allowed to conduct underwent constant change.
The Jewish Quarter, or the Prague Jewish Ghetto as it was later to become known, also endured a lot of structural changes, the latest of which was a vast redevelopment of the area between 1893-1913. Its present appearance dates mainly from this period, although most of the significant buildings from previous eras were saved, a living testimony to the history of Prague Jews, spanning many centuries.
These buildings form the best preserved complex of Jewish historical monuments in the whole of Europe. Six synagogues remain, including the Old-New Synagogue and the
plus the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the most remarkable of its kind in Europe.
Most historical sights in the Jewish Quarter come under the auspices of the Jewish Museum. A single admission ticket gains you entry to all the buildings under their control.
The Old-New Synagogue requires a separate ticket. This is the oldest preserved synagogue in Central Europe, built in early Gothic style in the late 13th century and is richly adorned by intricate stonework. All interior furnishings are originals. The Old-New Synagogue is today the main house of prayer of Prague's Jewish community.
To discover more about the Jewish Quarter, take the Jewish Quarter Walking Tour, which includes entrances to all the sights in the Jewish Museum.
Alternatively, take a Prague tour:
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour
Prague Grand City Sightseeing Tour & Boat
Best of Prague Walking Tour
Prague Explorer Walking Tour.