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The Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague lies in the middle of the Jewish Quarter and has been doing so since at least the early 15th century. If it existed before that date is something that is being discussed but the oldest preserved tombstone dates back to 1439. The cemetery was used until 1787.

The exact number of people buried here is forever unknown. This is because Jews must not destroy Jewish graves and, in particular, the tombstones weren’t allowed to be moved. This meant that when the cemetery ran out of space, layers of soil were added on the existing graves and the old tombstones placed on the same place, only higher. This explains why there are so many tombstones and why they are placed so close to each other. This method also resulted in the cemetery having 12 layers of graves with as many as 100,000 burials in all. One of the most known personalities buried here is Yehuda ben Bezalel, better known as Rabbi Löw who died in 1609. Rabbi Löw is amongst other things known for the legend about the creation of a golem, a creature made of clay, vreated to defend the Jews of the Prague Ghetto from antisemitic attacks.

The Old Jewish Cemetery

 The Old Jewish Cemetery