The Jewish settlement was developing in Velké Meziříčí since 1636. The Jewish community grew fast in the following years; its population reached its peak in the mid-19th century. The Nazis uprooted it in 1942. Notable rabbis ran the local yeshiva in the 18th and 19th century.

The valuable complex of the Jewish quarter with Židovská Street (today called Novosady) as its backbone and four narrow streets and several public passages through the houses situated diagonally, is located on the northeast outskirts of the town’s historical centre along the bank of the river of Oslava (Fig.1). Some of the buildings have kept their renaissance and baroque disposition (from the still “Christian” era) and feature many interesting architectonic details; the houses are often arranged as condominiums. Out of the initial 101 houses 63 have been preserved; the buildings earlier housing Jewish institutions include a common house with a rabbinate at No. 1148, a bathhouse at No.1147 and a school at No.1145.

The baroque Old Synagogue at 1146 Novosady Street (Fig.2) was built in 1695. The building has been used for commercial purposes since 1870. A valuable classicist stone portal from the second half of the 18th century with a metal plated door and two Hebraic inscriptions in the synagogue’s front wall draws the visitor’s attention. The synagogue was restored in order to serve as a museum and a gallery in 1995–1996. A museum exposition called Magen David was then opened in the women’s gallery, covering the history of the local Jewish Community and featuring the preserved relics (Fig.3). The opening hours are in the summer (April to September) Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM and from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Saturdays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM and from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. During the winter season (October to March) the museum always closes at 4:00 PM. Contact: phone +420 566 524 621. See also

The architect August Prokop built the New Synagogue at 97 Novosady Street (Fig.4) in Gothic Revival style in 1868–1870. While its exterior is characterised by the rough brickwork, in the interior the wooden ceilings and false vaults with delicate decoration arrest the visitor’s attention. The building served as a storage house for fifty years and it is temporarily used as a commercial shop at present. A comprehensive historical reconstruction is in preparation to restore the synagogue‘s historical lookout and enable its use as a cultural facility. The synagogue is open to public Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM. Contact: Mr. Mates, phone +420 604 378 611.

The Small Synagogue used to stand between the other two temples and it was probably the oldest one. It was torn down in the 1960s.

The Jewish cemetery is situated in Bezděkov Street, approximately 300 m northeast of the main square, in the slope behind the Oslava river. It was founded in 1650 and consists of 1,300 tombstones, among which valuable baroque and classicist tombs can be found. The oldest readable tombstone dates back to 1677. The cemetery is a place where you can visit the graves of a number of local notable personalities. A Romanesque Revival hall of mourning from 1880 stands by the cemetery entrance (Fig.5). The cemetery is open to public upon a prior appointment with Mr. Klenovský (phone +420 544 509 608).

Velké Meziříčí is the birthplace of the historian and writer Isac Hirsch Weiss (1815–1905, Vienna).

More information on Velké Meziříčí sights and its landmarks can be found at


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