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New Jewish Cemetery (Nový židovský hřbitov)

This cemetery, with countless artistically valuable tombstones, was founded in 1890. Of greatest interest is the 1985 Memorial of Czechoslovak Jews who perished in the Shoah and the Resistance. Another popular sight is the tomb of writer Franz Kafka and his parents (tombstone number 21 – 14 – 21).

New Jewish Cemetery (Nový židovský hřbitov), Izraelská 1, Praha 3 - Žižkov, 130 00
Web: http://www.synagogue.cz, e-mail: infonzh@kehilaprag.cz
tel.: +420226235248

Opening hours

November – March

Monday
09.00 – 16.00
Tuesday
09.00 – 16.00
Wednesday
09.00 – 16.00
Thursday
09.00 – 16.00
Friday
09.00 – 14.00
Sunday
09.00 – 16.00

April – October

Monday
09.00 – 17.00
Tuesday
09.00 – 17.00
Wednesday
09.00 – 17.00
Thursday
09.00 – 17.00
Friday
09.00 – 14.00
Sunday
09.00 – 17.00

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Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Object history

New Jewish cemetery is located nearby Line A subway station Želivského between the Želivského and Nad Vodovodem Streets. It was established in 1890, when the Old Jewish cemetery in today’s Fibichova Street ran out of space. It was designed for approximately 100 000 graves, which should be a sufficient capacity for about one century. It is more than 10 times greater than the Old Jewish cemetery in Josefov. The ceremonial hall with a dignified chapel, the purgation house for the burial services, the administration and auxiliary buildings, as well as the protective wall around the cemetery, all were built in the contemporary ruling style - neo-Renaissance. The ceremonial hall was designed by architect Bedřich Münzberger. From the start, the cemetery has been duly separated into graveyard squares, which were gradually filled with graves, and so the walk through the cemetery also offers a summary of the individual subsequent styles of tombs and monuments of the dead: from new-Gothicism past new-Renaissance, Prague and Vienna Art Nuveau, past Classicism, Purism and Constructivism, all the way to the present day. The cemetery is still in use today. Many artistically valuable tombs have been designed by prominent Czech sculptors and architects - Jan Kotěra, Josef Zasche, Josef Fanta, Čeněk Vosmík, etc.
In the middle of the cemetery, along the main alley, there is a square reserved for the officials of the Jewish religious communities and other significant functionaries, and at the entrance to the cemetery, there is space for honorary graves of significant rabbis, for example Nathan Ehrenfeld or dr. Gustav Sicher. Also the Patria Monument can be found near the entrance, the monument of defunct village at Dolní Kralovice, in a shape of an ordinary boulder, and there is also a Monument of World War I victims from 1926 shaped as a prolonged block inserted into two rectangular pedestals. Alongside the Eastern graveyard wall, there are expensive family tombs, for example those of significant entrepreneurial families of Petschek and Waldes. The Waldes tomb is decorated by two relief busts - the last piece of Josef Václav Myslbek.

Most attention is drawn to two objects: first, it is the Monument of Czechoslovak Jews, victims of holocaust and resistance movement, from 1985: a system of hollow eclipses in the centre of which there is the shining David’s Star. The authors are sculptor Zdeněk Vodička and architect Vladimír Stehlík. Among other most frequently visited places, there is the grave of Franz Kafka and his parents (tombstone number 21 - 14 - 21) shaped as a hexagonal crystal with the data of the deceased on the front side. The author is architect L. Ehrmann. On the opposite wall, there is a commemorative plate of Max Brod, Kafka’s friend and significant promoter of his work, who is buried in Israel. To name more examples, there is also a grave of writer Ota Pavel, and the poet Jiří Orten can be found in the urn grove. The cemetery has a special permission to run the urn grove, despite the fact that the Jewish tradition does not allow for the cremation of the dead. This is mostly used by mixed marriages.
New Jewish cemetery in Prague 3 has been registered as a whole among protected cultural monuments.

 

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