U Synagogy
Dolní Kounice, 664 64

Jewish synagogue, built in the Moorish Renaissance style in 1652, one of the oldest synagogues in Moravia. Its vicinity, with some preserved houses, formed the Jewish ghetto. The Jewish community was the most numerous in 1848, when 650 Jewish inhabitants lived in Kounice. During World War II, the town's 57 Jews were deported to the Terezín concentration camp. Only one person, Mrs Ruth Morgenstern, survived and now lives in Brno. Exhibition of paintings and painted stones.

The synagogue, a Protected Monument, was built in 1652-1655, after an earlier one in a different place was destroyed in a Swedish invasion in 1645. The entrance portal is in early Baroque style, with a semicircular stone lining and carved relief of floral motifs.

During the Nazi occupation, Jews were deprived of their rights and property and their religious services were banned. The valuable furnishings of the synagogue were moved to the Jewish museum in Prague. Under the  Communist rule,  the synagogue was used as a store. In 1991, it was returned in property restitution to the original owner, the Jewish Religious Community in Brno. In 1998-2004, it was renovated and is now used for cultural and social purposes.

Out of the 82 houses of the Jewish quarter, only 35 have beeen preserved. The original ones included e.g. school, hospital-almshouse, meat shops, inn. The rabbi's house stood opposite the synagogue and included the mikveh (ritual bath).  

The new Jewish cemetery was founded in 1680 on a slope above the ghetto on the southern outskirts of the town. Some gravestones have been moved here from an earlier Jewish cemetery near the castle. The new cemetery, surrounded by a massive wall, contains about 1500 gravestones scattered over its area, some of them from the Baroque and neo-Classical periods, the oldest one dated 1688. One of the most notable gravestones belongs to the Kreisky family, relatives of former Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, who actually visited Dolní Kounice.

synagoga I

Sdružení historických sídel
Čech, Moravy a Slezska

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