Czech Republic / Moravia


Mikulov © Henry Bouhnik

After Prague, until the nineteenth century the largest Jewish community in all the Czech lands lived in the city of Mikulov, south of Brno. Its yeshivoth were renowned throughout the region, even to Galicia.

The ghetto extended to the west of the old city around the present-day Husova and Zameskà streets, but only a few houses dating from the ghetto’s heyday still stand. In the nineteenth century -and before the demolition of 1950-60 the Jewish quarter had some ten prayer halls and three synagogues.

Only one of Mikulov’s synagogues remain: the Ancient Synagogue, built in 1550 and destroyed by fire nearly two centuries later. It was reconstructed in 1723. The only Polish-style synagogue of its kind in the Czech Republic, it has four columns at the center of the large prayer hall surrounding the bimah. Some of the toms of this large city cemetery date to 1608. As in Prague, the grave markers in the oldest part of the cemetery are piled up in several layers. There are roughly 2500 tombstones here, some richly decorated. The entrance to the cemetery is on the Hrbitovni Square.