Photographer's Note

Emerging into the city from the underground subway system during my first 5 minutes into Prague, my wife and I were stunned when peeping into the iron gate of a large, heavy door, built into a large city wall, which guarded the Old Jewish cemetary in the Josefov district of Prague.

Here you find a sea of stone, old, haggard tombstones aged with time, many with inscriptions of Hebrew detailing the lives of the more prominant Jews buried there.

The cemetary was closed in 1787. "The oldest grave in the cemetery is that of a rabbi, poet and physician named Avigdor Kara, who died in 1439. It is said that he was one of the few survivors of a pogrom at Easter time in 1389 when approximately 3,000 Jews, almost the entire Jewish population in Prague, were killed by the Christians living in the city, after local Catholic priests accused the Jews of desecrating the Host used in the sacrament of Holy Communion." (ref: )

Most amazingly, I was told that many of the dead here are buried 12 deep. While there are 12,000 tombstones visible in the little 'city block', the number is much greater due to the earth layering system carried out over time to create space. (ref:

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