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PRAHA ZIZKOV: Velka Praha, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Žižkov is a cadastral district of Prague. Most of Žižkov lies in the municipal and administrative district of Prague 3. Prior to 1922, Žižkov was an independent city. The district is named after Hussite leader Jan Žižka. Historically a working-class district and sometimes referred to as "red Žižkov" for many of its left-wing inhabitants. Before World War II, Žižkov had a reputation as a rough area. The Žižkovians were very proud of their bad reputation and up to this day they tend to refer to their neighbourhood as the "Žižkov republic". Today, Žižkov is undergoing gentrification with fashionable cafes and restaurants and rising property. Žižkov had many artists living or performing there. Franz Kafka is buried in the Jewish cemetery. Žižkov may have the highest number of pubs per capita of any city district in Europe. Žižkov also has several beautiful park like Vítkov with an equestrian statue of Jan Žižka. 

The Old Cemetery (aka First Israeli Cemetery in Olšany) (Olšanské hřbitovy)--the largest graveyard in Prague-- has many remarkable art nouveau monuments.see photo. Established in 1680 as a plague burial ground for the Jewish Community of Prague, burials also took place during a plague epidemic in the 1720s and regularly after the 1787 ban on burials within the city. The cemetery was used until 1890, when a new Jewish cemetery was established in the Strasnice district of Prague. After World War II, the cemetery fell into disrepair witha number of tombstones overturned. In the early 1960s, it was converted into a park. The oldest section with the tombstones of prominent personalities was preserved and separated from the park by a new wall. In the 1980s a television transmitter tower was built in the park. The landmarked preserved section of the cemetery  was placed under the administration of the Jewish Museum in Prague in 1998 and opened to the public in September 2001. This significant historic site is the resting place for some 40,000 persons, including a number of prominent rabbis and scholars, the most visited of which is the fully restored grave [1993] of the Chief Rabbi of Prague Ezekiel Landau (1713-1793).  Also buried are Eleazar Fleckeles (1754-1826), physician Jonas Jeiteles (1735-1806), his son Baruch Jeiteles (1762-1813) and the historian David Podiebrad (1803-1882), Joachim Popper (1731-1795) and members of the Jerusalem, Pribram and Dormitzer families. The cemetery gravestones include a broad range of styles from Baroque, Empire and Romantic to the common forms of the later 1800s. Visiting hours: Mondays, Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., except Jewish holidays. [February 2009]

JOWBR burial listings {August 2010]

PRAHA-ZIZKOV - Old Cemetery US Commission Report No. CZCE000389

Praha-Zizkov is located in Bohemia, Greater Praha (Velka Praha) at 50º03' 14º29'. Cemetery is 2.5 km ESE of center of Praha in Fibichova Street. The cemetery founded as plague cemetery has been used from 1680 until 1890.

  • Town: Obvodni urad, Havlickovo namesti 9, 130 00 Praha 3; tel. 02/27-47-44, mayor: tel. 02/27-57-13;
  • Magistratni urad, (mayor: Milan Kondr), Marianske Namesti 2, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/283-11-11 or 232-24-12.
  • Regional: Prazske stredisko pamatkove pece, Male namesti 13, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/236-83-44 or 236-83-52; Prazska ZNO, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 and Archiv hl.m.Prahy (Director: PhDr. Jiri Kudela), Husova 20, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/22/88/52.
  • Key holder: Jewish congregation (see-Prazska ZNO above).

Earliest known Jewish community was 1888 (as Zizkov). 1930 Jewish population was 2,188 in Zizkov, 35,425 in all Praha. The autonomous locality Zizkov originated in 1875, chartered in 1881, and incorporated into Greater Prague in 1920. Jewish religious society originated in 1888 and was an independent congregation about 1890. Jewish population increased since 19th century (see "Praha-Josefov"). Buried in the cemetery are hundreds of renowned personalities and famous rabbis like Ezechiel Landau (1713-1793) and Solomon Rapaport (1790-1867) with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial in 1891.

City of Prague (Eastern bank of river Vltava) used this landmarked cemetery. The isolated urban flat land on a hillside has inscriptions in Hebrew on gate or wall and inscriptions on pre-burial house. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was approximately 3.3 ha s and now is approximately 0.5 ha. 500-5,000 late 18th to 19th century tombstones for over 37,800 buried bodies are mostly in original location. The marble, granite, limestone and slate flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, sculpted monuments, multi-stone monuments, obelisks, tombs or tumbas [rough stones or boulders form of gravestone] have Hebrew and German inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains unmarked mass graves of plague epidemic in 17th and 18th centuries. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house of Chevra Kadisha (sold now) with three memorial tablets out and a wall. Praha Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Properties adjacent are recreational, residential, and TV transmission tower. The cemetery boundaries are smaller now than 1939 because of a public park. Occasionally, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups and private visitors stop. "Vandalism" occurred occasionally 1981-91: buried tombstones were excavated and removed. Preburial house was sold in 1985. Cemetery was reduced and tombstones buried between 1956-1960 by local/municipal authorities, regional/national authorities and Jewish groups within country. Restoration was done continuously (e.g., 1976, early 1980's, 1986) with vandalism afterward. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and Jewish congregation. Moderate threat: pollution and vegetation. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion and vandalism. 180 Torah scrolls stolen by the Nazis from the Netherlands were buried here in 1948.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, Martina Chmelikova, Nad Ondrejovem 16, 140 00 Praha 4; tel. 02/69-20-350 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 30 August 1992 using Jahrbuch fur die israelische Kultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-1894,1894-1895);

No site visits or interviews occurred.

UPDATE: "The Jewish cemetery in the Zizkov district of Prague, under the administration of the city's Jewish Museum is now open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cemetery, established in 1680 as a burial ground for local victims of bubonic plague, served as the city's main Jewish cemetery from 1787-1890. Among those buried there are the important scholar and rabbi, Ezekiel Landau, and members of his family, his pupil Eleazar Fleckeles and the physician Jonas Jeiteles." Source: Dateline World Jewry, February 2002. [February 2002]

PRAHA-ZIZKOV -New Cemetery US Commission No. CZCE000390

Alternate names: (Olšanský hřbitov) and Wolschany in German. This new cemetery is located at 3.5 km ESE of center of Praha, in "Izraelská" street. (Old street man "Nad vodovodem".) The still active cemetery dates from 1890.

  • Caretaker with key Engineer Artur Radvansky, Izraelská 1 (caretaker's house), 130 01 Praha 3; tel. 02/733-022.

The Jewish cemetery originated in 1890. Buried in the still-active Conservative and Progressive/ Reform cemetery are hundreds of renowned personalities of all fields of activity. This landmarked central cemetery serves main part of Praha. The urban hillside, separate but near cemeteries, has Hebrew inscriptions on gate or wall and no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all during operating hours. A continuous masonry wall with locking gate surrounds the cemetery. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is approximately 10 ha. More than 5000 tombstones (but approximately 15,000 graves) are all in original location. The cemetery has special section for urns.

The 1890-20th century marble, granite, limestone, sandstone and iron flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, sculpted monuments, multi-stone monuments, horizontally set stones, obelisks, tombs or tumbas have Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, French, and English inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering, with bronze decorations or lettering, with other metallic elements, portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves.

The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims, Jewish soldiers, to victims of catastrophe of the ship "Patria", and to the extinct congregation of Dolni Kralovice. The cemetery contains marked mass graves, ashes from Teresin, a pre-burial house and building of cemetery custodian. The landmarked pre-burial house with a tahara, a catafalque, wall inscriptions, and chimney is protected for its architectual value. Praha Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Properties adjacent are commercial or industrial, residential, and Russian Military Cemetery. The cemetery boundary is unchanged since 1939. Frequently, organized Jewish group or individual tours or pilgrimage groups, and private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally 1981-91 (some stones stolen). Local/municipal authorities, Jewish individuals abroad and Jewish groups within country do restoration continuously. Praha Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker. Moderate threat: vegetation. Slight threat: uncontrolled access and vandalism. Register of burials is available at the caretaker.

Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 31 August 1992 using the following documentation: Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-94; 1894-95); in Vestnik ZNO, 1980, No.2; Frantisek Kafka: Novy zidovsky hrbitov v Praze (1992). David Lieben: "Die Eroffnung des neuen Zweiten Israel," Wolschaner Friedhofes (1890) article in: Vestnik ZNO, 1980. Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. Ing. A. Radvansky was interviewed in Praha in 1992.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 August 2010 16:11
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