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Belle Skinner Journal Wednesday, September 21, 1887


Wednesday, Sept. 21.

We took a carriage and guide this morning and started out to see Prague.  On our way to the Jewish quarters we passed a very old church, the clock of which resembled in one respect the Strassburgh clock.  We passed as it was striking nine then, as at every hour, the twelve apostles came out and circled around Christ, and after the bell stopped ringing, the cock appeared and crew loudly.  The Jewish quarters are indescribably filthy.  The greatest wonder is how they can live in such dirt.  We went into one of their synagogues, eight hundred years old.  It was very interesting.  There are little windows at intervals in the walls through which the women can watch the service.  They are not allowed in the body of the church with the men.  In modern synagogues women, they are seated in high galleries.  We went into a Monastery and were shown collections of various kinds, but as we could not see the Monks, it was not very interesting.  We also visited several Catholic churches, similar to many we have seen.  In


one was a chapel called Mary’s Chapel, a model of the Virgin Mary’s house at Bethlehem.  In the walls is one brick from the actual house, and Joseph’s pick-axe is also there.  The Kings palace is a huge building and the few rooms we saw were elegantly furnished.  The ball room is magnificent.  Of course the palace is not occupied now.  This is about all of interest that we saw.  Oh, I forgot to mention that while in the Jews quarters we visited an old cemetery of theirs, one that has not been used for six hundred years.  Instead of one stone at each grave there were always four or five close together.  The reason is that as a Jew is not allowed to be disturbed and there was not room enough for each to have a separate grave. There are four or five layers of bodies, and each body has a stone.  Another queer custom is that Jews passing through the cemetery always stop and pick up a stone which they place on the tomb of a great man as a sign of respect.  This afternoon we spent in shopping and bought a number of little things, some Bohemian glass and garnets.

Belle Skinner 1887 Journal 09-21-1887a LXXXI
Belle Skinner 1887 Journal 09-21-1887b LXXXII
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