BŘECLAV

The first record of the presence of Jews in Břeclav dates back to 1414; the Jewish population of Břeclav reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century. The autonomous Jewish Religious Community ceased to exist in 1938. The Jewish quarter consisted of blocks of houses adjoining T. G. Masaryk Square from south; its streets are nowadays called U tržiště, Jateční, Lázeňská and Sladová. From the initial 72 houses 24 remain after reconstructions, one of them the school at 10 U tržiště Street. The school was built in 1884 and houses the Liechtenstein museum today.

The Břeclav Synagogue at U tržiště Street was built in 1868; twenty years later it was rebuilt in the Romanesque Revival style with Moorish elements in the interior – according to a design by the architect Max Fleischer. After having been used as storage space for fifty years, it was acquired by the Břeclav municipality in the mid-1990s, to undergo a sensitive and sophisticated reconstruction in 1997–2000. The synagogue is used as the Břeclav Museum exhibition hall, hosting an exposition covering the history of the local Israelite community and featuring its preserved relics. In the entrance hall to the museum exposition a memorial plaque can be seen, commemorating the uprooted Jewish Community. The building (Fig.1) is open to public daily except Mondays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Also see www.muzeumbv.cz.

The Jewish cemetery is situated approximately 700 m north of T. G. Masaryk Square, which adjoins Kupkova Street. The cemetery was founded in the 17th century. The area, almost 2 acres large, consists of around 400 tombstones dating from the 18th to 20th century. It is especially the tomb of the local notable Kuffner family that catches the visitor’s eyes. The cemetery, ruined by its abolishment at the end of the 1980s, was restored in 1991–1993 and opened to the public (Fig.2). A hall of farewell from 1892 and a gravedigger’s house in the Gothic Revival style stand by the cemetery entrance, both buildings by the architect Franz Neumann.

Břeclav is the birthplace of the opera singer Julius Lieban (1857–1940, Berlin). Further information on local sights and landmarks can also be found at www.breclav.info.



 
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