Prague

Trip Start Mar 15, 2012
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Trip End Apr 11, 2012


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, April 9, 2012

   After breakfast, we boarded a tour bus to see the sights. We saw the Josefov Quarter (Prague's Jewish Quarter)  with six synagogues full of history. We walked past the Old Jewish Cemetery, dating from the 15th century to 1787, which is remarkable for being the burying ground of perhaps some 100,000 people! Our guide explained that Jews must not destroy Jewish graves and in particular it is not allowed to remove the tombstone. This meant that when the cemetery ran out of space and purchasing extra land was impossible, more layers of soil were placed on the existing graves, the old tombstones taken out and placed upon the new layer of soil, close to each other. This resulted in the cemetery having 12 layers of graves. Many very famous Jews are buried here.
    We visited the Prague Castle complex, which included St. Vitus Cathedral, several palaces and many museums. We stopped to listen to a small concert that was happening in one of the squares and watched the changing of the guard.
     We crossed the famous St. Charles Bridge, full of artists, musicians and statues. We saw some young men "switching" young girls with ribbon-decorated sticks --an old tradition that happens the Monday after Easter and is a sort of fertility rite. We also visited the Old Town and Wenceslas Square and the famous 15th-century Astronomical clock which produces a "Parade of the Apostles" on the chime of the hour.
  
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