An Old Crowded Jewish Cemetery

Dear Reader,

the lack of space can be a problem even for cemetery authorities. So in Prague I found this beautiful synagogue which has been facing a particular problem for many decades now…

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The cemetery is nearly 600 years old, and has about 12,000 tombstones packed in it. However, a curious fact makes this cemetery extremely over-packed with bodies…

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Nobody really knows when the cemetery was founded as there are gravestones that date back to 1430, earlier than what many people suggest. Either way, regardless its foundation date, this cemetery indeed managed to survive in the same spot for hundreds of years, accumulating thousands of bodies all stacked on top of each other forming layers, and here is why: according to Jewish tradition, no body can ever be moved from its original burial site, so when space became a problem, bodies were simply put in layers, now 12 deep. So given the piling-up of bodies it is estimated that in this place there are about 100,000 bodies buried in the ground.


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