While traveling, you can’t really plan for everything. I mean, I guess you could, but I don’t. In fact, some of the most spectacular things that I’ve seen were things we’ve stumbled onto and didn’t even know were there. This Jewish Cemetery in Prague was one of those things for me. I had never heard of its existence, but CT had read about it somewhere, and since we were in town, we figured we’d check it out. Goose and TiFunk were kind of historied-out for the day, so they missed out on this rare gem.
The unique thing about this site is that Jews believed they weren’t supposed to destroy graves, and particularly, the tombstone. So the practical effect of that was that when they ran out of space, they just kept putting grave upon grave upon grave and ended up with this. Read on to find out how many bodies and how many layers of graves are sitting under this top layer.
There are a bunch of other sites in the old Jewish town, but the cemetery appeared to have been the most visited.
The cemetery was in use from about 1439 to 1787, and it’s a pretty small plot of land bordered on all sides by buildings, so there was a limit to the expansion of the graveyard. As a result, they started layering more soil on existing graves, and the old tombstones were taken out and placed on top of a new layer of soil. There is at least 12 layers of graves underneath the top layer.
CT paying tribute.
If you ever get to Prague, this probably won’t be high on your trip list, but I found it to be a really unique experience and very eye-opening. Google for directions, it’s worth the trek.