Unknown attractions, one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe
• Unknown attractions: one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe
Since ancient times, the Jews called the cemetery garden. Getting to the Jewish cemetery in Prague, you know why. Old trees, graves, overgrown with grass, countless gravestones - a maze of fate from which there were only stones. Stones tilted with age, the wind and rain have erased the names, and with them the memories. But at the same Prague Jewish Cemetery, and today one of the most popular tourist destinations.
Jewish cemetery in Prague, located near the quarter Josefov, is considered one of the oldest of such memorials in Europe. Burial is carried out in the first half of the XV century until 1786. Today, the cemetery surrounding the old synagogue - one of the most popular tourist destinations.
One of the earliest gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Prague - the tombstone of Rabbi Avigdor Kara, which dates from 1439. And the first first written mention of the cemetery belongs to 1438. Recently, the burial took place in 348 years.
In the cemetery are buried about 100 thousand Jews. Due to the lack of space for centuries graves had to be placed one above the other. In some places there are twelve such layers of graves.
To this day, the cemetery remained around 12,000 tombstones, many of which are decorated with animal and plant motifs. It is here were inspired many writers who have written about the Jews.
In the Jewish faith is forbidden to depict the deceased, so instead of the usual for Christian cemeteries images of the deceased, gravestones characterize the dead by various symbols, emphasizing their lifestyle, character, name or profession. For example, musicians graves decorated violins, scissors indicate that here lies a tailor, a crown symbol is found on the graves of the most educated people and an animal figurine basically means the name of a deceased person.
It is interesting that during the Second World War, Hitler, in spite of all their hatred of the Jews, ordered to leave intact the old cemetery. It is believed that he had wanted to make it a "museum of an extinct race." "Museum" was officially opened after all the Jews would have been killed in Europe.
There were buried many prominent Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel, the Maharal, Rabbi and scholar Avigdor Kara, and Mordechai ben Samuel Meisel - entrepreneur and former 16th Jewish Mayor of the city, built by the private synagogue.
One of the most visited graves is Rabbi Judah Lowe's grave, who lived in the XVI century and, according to tradition, to create an artificial clay creature called Golem. According to legend, the Golem was fighting on the side of the Jews in difficult times, but later became uncontrollable and bloodthirsty, so it is destroyed.
Often, visitors enter the cemetery from the Pinkas Synagogue, which today is a monument to Holocaust victims. People are left on gravestones prayers written on small pieces of paper.
Another interesting fact - in the far corner near the wall is a small tombstone deposited under the ground and overgrown with ivy. The inscription on it can not be read, but the old people say that the first word was mentioned about the dog. It is said that once someone has thrown over the fence of the cemetery of the dead dog, wanting to profane the sacred place. But the wise Rabbi Leo said that everything that has got to the cemetery, is there to stay. And the dog was buried among the people.