Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews first came to Prague in the 10th century and over the years they became a thriving part of the city’s cultural and financial community. Their first cemetery was located in Josefov, where most of Prague’s Jewish resident were required to settle; by the 1890s there were 23,500 Jews living in the city and the Old Jewish Cemetery was full. A new one was built in the suburb of Žižkov, many times bigger with capacity for around 100,000 graves; it is Art Nouveau in style, with imposing entrance gates, ornate mausoleums and majestic family tombs adorned with statuary and inscriptions. Its peaceful and orderly tree-lined avenues are a respite from the hectic street life of central Prague, although tragic reminders of World War II include a memorial wall inscribed with the names of the victims of the Holocaust who perished in Terezín concentration camp. The influential writer Franz Kafka is famously buried there; his literary fans make a pilgrimage to his tomb on the anniversary of his death on June 3, 1924.
Izraelská 712/1, Žižkov. Open Apr–Oct Sun–Thur 9am-5pm, Fri 9am–2pm. Nov–Mar Sun–Thur 9am-4pm, Fri 9am–2pm. Closed Sat and Jewish holidays. Admission free. Maps are available at the entrance gates, as are yarmulkes for men to cover their heads. Metro Line A to Želivského.