29. 7. 2014
In search of the treasures of the Jewish Quarter in Třebíč
Two synagogues, an ancient cemetery and the fragile beauty of the narrow lanes with their unique atmosphere. This is the Třebíč Ghetto. The Jewish Quarter here is one of the best preserved and the largest in Europe. Thanks to its cultural and historical importance, the collection of houses in the former ghetto, together with the Jewish Cemetery and Basilica of St. Procopius, have been included in the UNESCO world and natural heritage list, the first independent Jewish monument to be honoured in this manner outside of the state of Israel.
Generations of Jews and Christians lived side by side in Třebíč for hundreds of years and established this unique place, the Třebíč Ghetto. It started to develop as far back as the 12th century and an unbelievable 123 houses built in various styles have been preserved here to this very day.
Mystery of the largest Jewish Quarter
The Jews in Třebíč were not allowed to live in the Christian parts of the city. They started to settle along the left bank of the River Jihlava, where the Zámostí Jewish Quarter was created. The Jews were separated from their Christian neighbours for a long time and during World War Two, the local Jews were taken away to concentration camps. The Jewish community in Třebíč died out completely after the war. Nowadays you can find over a hundred preserved buildings in the Jewish Quarter, 2 synagogues, a Jewish Town Hall, the Rabbi’s house as well as a poorhouse, a school and a hospital. Typical for this quarter are its narrow lanes, public passages, verandas and also one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. The magical atmosphere of this place is embellished by over two thousand overlapping gravestones covered in moss. In the Rear Synagogue, you can view pictures on the walls and an exhibition about the history of the Jewish quarter. In the Jewish housing centre, you can find out how a Jewish family lived and also discover the secret of kosher dishes.
The Christian centre of the town also has something to offer
The centre of the town spreads out over the river from Zámostí, this being made up of Karlovo náměstí with a Renaissance “Painted House” with sgrafitto decoration which you cannot miss, nowadays used as a tourist centre. In the grounds of the chateau in Třebíč, you will find the Romanesque Basilica of St. Procopius, with its beautiful pillared entrance hall, protected by a semi-circular portal known as the Gateway to Paradise (Porta paradisi).
Where else to set out for?
Not far from this town is one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic – Telč. Its picturesque square lined with Renaissance houses and a large chateau is part of the UNESCO world heritage. You can also make your stay in Třebíč more pleasant with a trip to Brno.