Jewish Garden: A Cultural Gem

by Kosher River Cruise Kosher Tour Operator
The Jewish Garden (Hebrew: גן יהודי - Gan jehudi) is the name for the second oldest Jewish cemetery in Prague. The cemetery was located in the New Town of Prague between today's streets Spálená, Purkyňova, Jungmannova and Lazarská. It was buried in this cemetery no later than 1254 until 1478, when this space was transplanted along Vladislavova street in the longitudinal axis and transformed into a building parcel, so even today the whole garden is built or paved. Reconstruction of the site before the location of the New Town of Prague was carried out by the State Institute for the Reconstruction of Monumental Cities and Objects in 1980. This is one of the must-visit destinations when you’re kosher cruising in Prague.

Between 1900 and 1920, the first Jewish tombstones were found during the construction works for apartment houses in Vladislavova Street, five fragments of stone tombstones were picked up and deposited in the Lapidarium of the National Museum in Prague.

Between 1978 and 1980, the houses in the southern part of Vladislavova Street (No. 73 / II), in the streets of Charvátov (No. 1404 / II) and Purkyňov (No. The rescue archaeological research of the Archaeological Department of the Prague Center for Heritage and Nature Conservation, led by Helen Olmer, documented further graves at that time.

In 1997, as a result of Česká spořitelna's intention to build underground garages in this locality, rescue archaeological research was carried out, which touched plots of houses No. 76 / II and 1350 / II in Vladislavova Street. The survey was found in the Hebrew gravestones and simple skeletal graves, whose number is estimated at around 400. In 2000, however, the archaeological work on the basis of the protests Jewish communities terminated (Jewish law required the inviolability of graves in perpetuity). The underground area of the Jewish Garden was later declared a cultural monument and the tombs that were left in place were fitted with a concrete sarcophagus. 

Until September 2016, a Jewish monument was unveiled on the corner of Vladislav and Purkyňova streets, stylized in the form of medieval Jewish macevot, containing a description and history of the place in Czech, English and Hebrew. It is mentioned in the monument that, according to the testimony written in the book Seder ha-dorot, there is buried here a significant scholar Rashi:

והעידו לפני יהודים סוחרים ממנטובה שהלכו לחצר קיסר במלכות בואימיאה וראו בעיר פראגה קבורת רש"י עם מצבת אבן וכתוב עליו דברים ולסיבת מחיקתם לא יוכלו להבינם

And the Jewish merchants from Mantova testified before me that they were going to the court of the Emperor in the Kingdom of Bohemia, and they saw in the city of Praga the tomb of Raši with a tombstone on which words were written that they did not understand because of their damage. (Seder ha-dorot, according to the Karlsruhe edition, 1769, p.52r) You can learn more about this Jewish Garden in a kosher river cruise.

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Created on Oct 20th 2017 04:31. Viewed 1,261 times.


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