Prague is one of the oldest and most prominent Jewish centres in Central Europe. Thanks to its location in the centre of Bohemia,
the Prague Jewish community from the outset was a natural administrative centre for the other Jewish communities in Bohemia,
which is why its past events constitute a major part of the history of the Jews of the Czech kingdom.
Despite frequent natural disasters, pogroms and attempts at expulsion, the continuity of the local Jewish settlement and religious life has never been disrupted throughout the thousand-year history of the Prague Jewish community. At various times, in fact, Prague became a refuge for many Jews expelled from neighbouring countries and, as a result, for several centuries was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.
Prague has also always been a prominent centre of Jewish culture.
Distinguished rabbinic figures were active here in the early Middle Ages, influencing the entire Jewish world with their ideas. The "Golden Age" of the Jewish Town of Prague, however, occurred during the rule of Rudolph ll at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. At this time there were a great number of outstanding rabbis, scholars and philosophers, some of whom also devoted themselves to astronomy, mathematics and history. The last peak of Jewish culture in Prague is marked by the names of many Prague poets, writers, philosophers and artists at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, whose works significantly enriched modern Czech, German and Hebrew literature and culture.