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Star Zidovsk Hbitov

Star Zidovsk Hbitov
Old Jewish Cemetery
#About the Most Ancient Cemetery in Europe

Inside the most ancient cemetery in Europe, the Old Jewish Cemetery (Starý Židovský Hřbitov), is no less than 12,000 tombstones and another 1,000 hidden graves (though there are assumptions that there are more hidden graves than this, about 100,000). The years give their marks in the shriveled graves and many of the tombstones are crumbling and some of them are slowly swallowed up in the ground. In general, there is even a little magic in this disorder, crowded and mess.

For more than 300 years this place was used as a cemetery, but in 1787 it was closed to use. It is surrounded by trees and the graves are very crowded, possibly even too crowded. Though the area was expanded more than a few times, the number of deaths gets larger than the available land. Today there are 12 layers of graves here.

The atmosphere here is special and mysterious, mainly it sends a shudder down your spine. Many see this cementery as the symbol for the destruction of the Jewish community in Prague during the Holocaust. It is one of the most important and preserved historical sites in the Jewish Quarter of Prague.

#Graves at the Cemetery

The oldest tombstone here was built in 1439, and it belongs to the poet Avigdor Karo.

Another grave that has become a popular spot (the candles lit all around here will testify to its popularity) is the grave of the Jewish Mahal of Prague, Rabbi Yehuda ben Bezalel Loew. He was an important rabbi and spiritual leader, teacher, and guide, and his name is involved with many stories and legends. The most famous of these stories is the story of the golem of Prague. Many visitors come here to ask for forgiveness, and blessings.

The tombstone that looks the best in this cementery is that of a women named Hendl Bassevi. Though it is very ancient (since 1628), it has been nicely preserved and has stayed whole, at its head is the sculpture of a lion.

#Who is the Golem from Prague

Rabbi Yehuda ben Bezalel Loew, the Maharall, was for many years the main rabbi of Prague. He dedicated his life to the welfare of the community and his goal was to was to purify the Children of Israel from the false rumors spread about them, that they used the blood of Christian children to knead the matzo dough on Passover.

One night, the rabbi heard a voice telling him, "make a human figure from clay and through it you will succeed in thwarting the plots of your enemies."

And so the rabbi did. He summoned his son-in-law and his best student and updated them with the vision he had experienced. They formed the Golem in seven days. In the Jewish year 5340, the three scholars went to the banks of the Holtba River and formed a human figure three cubits high from the clay. After they finished, the rabbi's son-in-law turned around the figure as he recited a Kabalistic prayer. After doing this several times, the Golem opened his eyes and came to life. The rabbi turned to him and said: "We have created you from the dust of the earth to protect the Israelites from their enemies and to prevent them from their sorrows and suffering." The figure received the name Yosef and he became a servant in the rabbi's court.

For most of the day the Golem was sitting in the corner of the study room, a bit like a fly on the wall. In order not to attract too much attention, the rabbi put a talisman around his neck that made him invisible. During the week leading up to Passover, the Golem began his mission - he walked around the city and checked every person who entered the quarter with packages. Quite a few times, he found a dead baby in them, which was supposed to serve as proof of the false plots against the Jews. The Golem served the members of the Jewish community in Prague.

He did so until the Jews finally arrived at the longed-for day, when it was widely declared that the plots were baseless and that persecution of future Jews was prohibited. At this point the rabbi decided to take back Yosef's life. They performed the ritual again and the Golem was once again a lifeless mass of clay. They placed it under a pile of books in the attic of the Alt-Noy Synagogue in Prague.


The cementery is surrounded by a tall fence, so if you want to see the whole place, enter the museum for decorative arts, in the bathroom on the first floor is a window from which you can see the entire cementery.

A Closer Look:


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.