HOTEL JEWISH QUARTER PRAGUE
Betlem Club Hotel Jewish Town Prague - Josefov
Betlem Club Hotel is located in the heart of the Prague Old Town near district Josefov - Jewish Quarter. In the vicinity are the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Hradčany, Prague Castle, the Royal Route, Bethlehem Chapel and all the other landmarks of the Old Prague.
Jewish Town - Josefov
Original Jewish Town (Czech. Židovské město) is now called Josefov. It is the smallest district of Prague, surrounded by the Old Town and is part of Prague 1 Except the name of the Jewish Town were also popular Jewish Quarter, the Jewish ghetto, the Jews, or the Fifth District.
The early history of the Jewish Town in Prague
The first Jewish merchants and moneychangers settled in Prague since the 10th century. Jewish Town of Prague was founded in the 12th century as a Jewish community between the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. Jews from Jewish town there had their own government, schools, courts and represent all other Jewish inhabitants of Bohemia. During the heyday the 1,900 inhabitants there crammed into and Jewish town became the largest economic and cultural center of the Jews in Europe.
Pogroms against Jews are documented since 1096, when first Crusade passed through Prague. The year 1389 was another great pogrom on the Prague's Jewish ghetto, and as a young boy it experienced Avigdor Kari, later Prague rabbi. Based on his experience from childhood wrote Selichot - penitential prayers that are read today on repentance in the world.
Although Prague Jews were persecuted, locked in the ghetto and their contact with Christians had restricted on trade prospered many immigrants and came here from across Europe. Thanks to beneficial loans for Czech rulers, they managed to get their protection and many privileges. Prominence of the Jewish Town was confirmed by construction of the Old New Synagogue (Czech. Staronová synagoga) in the 13th century. Synagogues up to build Jews city hall were used not only for sacramental purposes, but also for teaching and dealing with all public affairs.
Golden Age of Jewish Town in Prague
A period of relative peace and prosperity alternated with periods of oppression and forcible expulsion of the Jews and then followed again development. On the turn of the 16th and 17 century, during the reign of Rudolf II. began the golden age of the Jewish ghetto. Rudolf II. confirmed the privileges of Jewish and Jewish Town began to flourish. The population has risen sharply, were constructed synagogues Maisel, Pinkas, and High, as well the city hall, and many other private and public buildings. Been developed the services and crafts. Prague operated famous Talmudist schools, there was created an eminent literary and scientific works. Hebrew printers work there.
With this period is connected many of personalities of Jewish culture and science. Chronicler David Gans. Rabbi Yehudah Livi ben Bezalel, called Löw, known as the creator of the legendary Golem. Mordechai Maisel - Court Jew and financier of Rudolf II., the richest man in Prague, patron and builder of the ghetto. Astronomer Joseph Solomon Delmedigo. Baševi Jakob, who was promoted to aristocracy as the first Jew in the Habsburg monarchy. All are buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery. Powerful and populous ghetto became the capital of the diaspora and was called the Em be Yisrael.
Bankruptcy and demolition of the Jewish Quarter
In the 17 century Jewish Town is vitiated with plague and burned. Even though it was soon restored, during the reign of Maria Theresa, the Jews had to face another wave of oppression. In the 40th and the 18th century were Jews expelled from the country. The position of the Jews in Prague partly improved in the year 1781, when Emperor Joseph II. issued the Patent of Tolerance, which the Jewish inhabitants allow access to schools. In 1848 the Jewish population was emancipation with other people, and they were the first time allowed to freely move out of the ghetto.
This had the paradoxically result in a rapid decay of the Jewish Town. Wealthier Jews have immediately moved out, poor people moved there regardless of religion. Ghetto became a refuge for criminals, quickly deteriorated and became a red-light district.
In the 80s of the 19th century decided city council of Prague despite opposition expert public to reconstruct almost the entire ghetto. It was demolished a number of synagogues, private homes and palaces. From the old Jewish town so were preserved to the present time six synagogues - Old New, Klaus, Pinkas, Maisel, Spanish, and High, Prague's Old Jewish Cemetery and the baroque town hall. Even this, however belongs to the rarest Jewish sights of Europe.
Prague Jewish Museum
In 1906 was founded the Jewish Museum, which saved a lot of historic and artistic monuments from demolished houses and synagogues. After II. World War II museum also gained a lot from the estate of of Jewish people, who did not return from the nazi concentration camps. Currently, the Prague Jewish Museum is together with the museum in Jerusalem the world's largest Jewish museum.