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Jewish Cemetery in Žižkov
  

The Jewish cemetery in Žižkov

 

The Tombstones of the Prague rabbis Ezekiel Landau (right) and Samuel Landau (centre)Fibichova Street, Prague 3

The Jewish cemetery in Zizkov (known as the First Israeli Cemetery in Olsany) was established in 1680, as a plague burial ground for the Jewish Community of Prague. Burials took place here during a plague epidemic in the second decade of the l8th century and on a regular basis from 1787, when a ban on burials within the city came into force. The cemetery was in use until 1890, when a new Jewish cemetery was established in the Strasnice district of Prague.  

After World War II the cemetery fell into a state of disrepair and a number of tombstones were knocked down. In the early 1960s it was mostly discontinued and converted into a park. The oldest section with the tombstones of prominent personalities, however, was preserved and separated from the park by a new wall. In the second half of the 1980s a television transmitter tower was built in the park area. The preserved section of the cemetery, which is a protected site, was placed under the administration of the Jewish Museum in Prague in 1998. After the completion of essential building alterations and basic restoration work, the cemetery was opened to the public in September 2001.

The Jewish cemetery in Zizkov is an historic site of great significance. It is the resting place for some 40,000 persons, including a number of prominent rabbis and scholars. The most visited grave is that of the Chief Rabbi of Prague Ezekiel Landau (1713-1793), whose tombstone was fully restored in 1993 (to mark the anniversary of his death), together with those belonging to other members of his family. The tombstone of Landau’s pupil and member of the rabbinic board, Eleazar Fleckeles (1754-1826) has also undergone extensive restoration. Prominent representatives of the Enlightenment and contemporary Jewish intelligentsia who are buried here include the physician Jonas Jeiteles (1735-1806), his son Baruch Jeiteles (1762-1813) and the historian David Podiebrad (1803-1882). Large representative tombstones mark the graves of the first local Jewish entrepreneurs - Joachim Popper (1731-1795) and members of the Jerusalem, Pribram and Dormitzer families. As far as tombstone designs are concerned, the cemetery covers a broad range of styles, from Baroque, Empire and Romantic to the common forms of the 2nd half of the l9th century.
 
Open on Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., except Jewish holidays.

 

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