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Prague, at the Crossroads of Cultures

Jewish Quarter, Prague, Czech Republic

Still in the first half of the last century, Prague was a place where three cultures blossomed side by side and significantly influenced one another: Czech, German and Jewish. Franz Kafka, as a Jewish-German-Czech author, is the most prominent example of their interconnection, though in his own time not so unusual.

The Second World War finally brought to an end several centuries of enduring (though not always peaceful) coexistence. Go for a tour of the old Jewish Quarter (www.jewishmuseum.cz) and try to imagine the ghetto that arose here back in the Middle Ages.

A key landmark of the area was the Old New Synagogue from the 13th century, one of the longest continually used synagogues in Europe. The Spanish Synagogue, built in the Spanish Moorish style popular in the 19th century, evokes a considerably more recent time. In the area of Prague, still more synagogues (e.g. the Jubilee Synagogue – the only one in the world decorated in the Viennese Secessionist style) and Jewish cemeteries can be found.

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