The Jewish settlement in Rousínov is assumed to date back to the mid-15th century, although the first documented record is from as late as 1554. By the mid-19th century, the Jewish population reached 1,200, one half of the then town’s population.
The Jewish quarter in Rousínov comprises an extensive complex of the western part of the Square and the streets Trávníky, Skálova and V uličkách adjoining it from south. Out of the initial 132 houses within the 12-acre area a majority has been preserved. What the visitors will find compelling are the darkish inner public passages through the houses and specimens of condominiums.
A former synagogue (Fig.1), originally a renaissance-baroque temple from the end of the 16th century later rebuilt according to a classicist design (in1842) is situated at 6 V uličkách Street. The building was converted into a Hussite Church chapel in 1949. A memorial plaque to the local victims of the Nazi persecution was mounted on the front wall of the chapel and unveiled in 2006. The chapel is open to public during services or upon a prior appointment with the parish of the Hussite Church (contact: Mrs. Ladičová, phone +420 516 412 346).
The Jewish cemetery is situated at the end of Trávníky Street, c. 300 m south of the Square. It was founded in c. 16th century; the area comprises about 1,500 tombstones (Fig.2) with the oldest readable stone from 1695. Valuable baroque and classicist tombstones can be seen at the cemetery. At present, a comprehensive historical reconstruction is about to be launched. The cemetery is open to public upon a prior appointment with Mr. Čech (phone +420 723 624 942).
Rousínov is the birthplace of the writer Rosa Barachová (1841–1913, Vienna), rabbi Nehemias Brüll (1843–1891, Frankfurt upon Main) and the painter Elise Frankl (1895– died after 1940, location unknown).
For further information on the locality and its landmarks please see www.rousinov.cz.