Our first full day in Prague we took a recommended free 3-hour walking tour with Discover Prague and loved our tour guide, Simon, so much that the next day we took his advice and chose to spend the morning exploring the Jewish Museum, which included The Pinkas Synagogue, The Old Jewish Cemetery, The Klausen Synagogue, The Ceremonial Hall, The Spanish Synagogue, and The Maisel Synagogue (we didn’t go in this one). We were blown away by the beautiful sentiments created to remember and celebrate the Jewish history of Prague, none of which we were even aware of prior to our walking tour the day before. Hands down the most touching exhibit was the floor displaying artwork created by Jewish children from the concentration camp of Terezin from 1942-1944 which was collected and buried for safe keeping by their art teacher, Mrs. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. It was both heartbreaking (funerals, death) and heartwarming (flowers, houses, hope) to see life depicted through the eyes of these children. The Old Jewish Cemetery, containing some 12,000 tombstones but 100,000+ bodies as they were buried in layers, was an eerie reminder of the suffering endured by the Jewish community here in Prague. It was an unexpected eye-opening day that taught us a lot:
- Ask locals for recommendations when you arrive
- There is an incredible amount of history that I know nothing about
- Keep an open mind when traveling, just because you don’t know everything or anything about a destination doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer you
- Don’t discard specific types of exhibits and sites to see, you never know what you might love
- There are so many forgotten victims from World War II in places I never learned
- We need to continue to revisit and appreciate the past so we can learn from those “mistakes” and grow in the future
- You don’t need pictures of everything in order to remember – taking pictures inside was prohibited (found the 2 images below via google) only pictures outside of the cemetary were allowed – go here to read and see more.