|The History of the Jewish Community of Prage|
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The Prague Jewish Community has a long and rich history that extends back to the 10th century. At that time Jews probably lived beneath the Prague Castle, in the area of today’s Lesser Town; in the 12th century at the latest they begun to settle down on the other side of the river, near the Charles Bridge. Over the centuries, their settlement grew into a Jewish Town (separated from the Christian part by a wall) with its own board of representatives, its own court system and extensive local government. The extraordinary significance of the community consisted – beside the number of its members and its material and cultural wealth – also in the fact that until the mid-17th century, the Prague community represented all the Jewish inhabitants of Bohemia in relation to the monarch and the state authorities. The destiny of all Jews in the country often depended on the destiny of the Prague community: the history of this community represents a substantial part of Bohemian Jewish history.