Library > Reading Corner > The Illustrated Prague Haggadah That Survived 500 Years

The Illustrated Prague Haggadah That Survived 500 Years

​The Valmadonna Collection is a treasure trove of rare and ancient Jewish manuscripts. We are proud to present a copy of the Prague Haggadah, one of the earliest published Haggadot in the world.

Passover is just around the corner and the National Library of Israel has the honor and pleasure of presenting a rare item from the recently acquired Valmadonna Collection.


 The Prague Haggadah, 1556, the Valmadonna Collection


This Haggadah was published in 1556, and only two copies have survived the ravages of time and history. The only other copy can be found at the British Library in London.


The Valmadonna Collection holds thousands of items and books published and printed from the 15th century on. The Prague Haggadah is but one example of the riches found within.


The Haggadah was scanned and digitized this week, and has been uploaded in its entirety to the National Library of Israel's website. Visitors and users around the globe will be able to view one of the earliest published and most beautiful Haggadot in the world.


 The Prague Haggadah, 1556, the Valmadonna Collection


Dr. Yoel Finkelman, the Judaica Collection Curator of the National Library, says the Prague Haggadah is significant not only due to its rarity and age, but also because the Haggadot of Prague show wood-cut illustrations and large, elaborate fonts. These elements have become standard in thousands of different versions of Haggadot all over the Jewish world.

 

View the full Haggadah here: