The Prague Jewish Quarter is also known as JOSEFOV as it was named after the emperor Josef II, contains the remains of Prague's former Jewish ghetto. Many Jews died during the WWII or were forced by the communist regime to leave the country but the current Prague population still numbers between 5000 to 6000 people. There are two figures synonymous with this part of the city, Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) and the mystical homunculus Golem created by Jehuda Ben Bezalel, also known as Rabi Löw who is buried in nearby Starý zidovský hrbitov (the old Jewish Cemetery). The famed Rabbi Loew who died in 1609 was a chief rabbi of Prague and a profound scholar who is credited with creating the mythical Golem - even today, small scraps of paper bearing wishes are stuffed into the cracks of the rabbi's tomb in the hope he will grant the wishes written thereon.
Originally dating back to the 13th century the present appearance of the Jewish Quarter is mainly the result of a vast redevelopment undertaken between 1893-1913. Only a few of the most significant buildings were saved during this redevelopment, but those buildings form the best present complex of Jewish historical monuments in the whole of Europe. Six synagogues remain from the old settlement, including the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery along with the Old-New Synagogue are features all of which are part of the Jewish Museum.
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