Boskovice - The Boskovice Story

Get to know a town once home to one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Bohemia and Moravia. A town with an amazing atmosphere where one of the largest Jewish religious communities in Moravia grew up. A town that has hosted a number of famous Jewish figures in its history. And a town with a wonderfully preserved and maintained Jewish Quarter. Boskovice is all of these things.
 
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The first record of the Jewish settlement in Boskovice dates from the 16th century. The Jewish town was concentrated between the chateau and the town centre and was always a place of education. It was famous for its yeshiva, while prominent natives and the important Jewish figures that spent time in Boskovice also helped put it on the map. The town was the birthplace of writer Hermann Ungar and Avraham Albert Ticho, the eminent ophthalmologist. Samuel ben Nathan Ha-Levi Loew, a Talmudist and author of the Machatsis haShekel, and Rabbi Abraham Placzek spent time there. Around 150 years ago Jews made up over a third of the population, making Boskovice’s Jewish community one of the largest in Moravia.
With no ruins, neglected buildings or decrepit synagogues, the local Jewish Quarter is a feast for the eyes. Everything has been preserved, meaning visitors can feel part of this historic landmark. The Jewish ghetto is also promoted via a festival of culture for the Jewish Quarter at which people from around the Czech Republic have been gathering for more than 20 years. It should be added in conclusion that the entire Jewish town is, justifiably, a protected landmark.

Day 1

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The tour around Boskovice’s Jewish town begins at the entrance to the town. It is symbolised by an old Jewish gate closing off the ghetto, the only preserved example in the country. The route goes down Plačkova St., named after local Rabbi Abraham Placzek, who became Moravian provincial rabbi in the 19th century. The street features sensitively renovated houses worthy of close attention. These include house no.5, which boasts an Empire style façade, and house no.6, on which is preserved a metal plaque recalling a great fire with a Hebrew inscription that reads “White on black – in memory of the destruction – 1832”. Next stop at house no.12, regarded as the most beautiful in the entire quarter. House no.25, meanwhile, is one of the oldest. Number 45 housed a pub, then a school, then a rabbinate. At the end of the street you reach U Vážné studny, where at house no.7 there was at various times a liqueurs manufactory, a pub and the first grade of an elementary school. Also of interest is house no.9, which was the focal point of social life, home to a theatre hall, a cinema and a casino. Turn right into U Templu where at the end of the street there is an historic mikveh, directly opposite which stands the Maior Synagogue. Go back down U Templu and after a few metres you come to the recently repaired municipal house. Your final stop in Boskovice will be the Jewish cemetery.

Common Tips

In 2005 a tradition of the Jewish town was revived; every autumn a Goose Festival is held, referring to a long tradition of fattening geese for the markets in Vienna and other cities and towns.  
 

Transportation

Boskovice is 243 km from the centre of Prague. It can be reached by car in approximately two and three-quarter hours. By train or bus the journey takes just under three hours.
It is worth planning your route to include a night in Boskovice itself or at nearby places such as Mikulov and Vienna.
The itinerary of the town tour is designed for walkers.

Day 1

km
3
hrs
5
sights
3

The Maior Synagogue in Boskovice

Boskovice’s Maior Synagogue was erected in the first half of the 17th century by the Italian builder Silvestr Fiota. Thanks to the quality of its construction it remains intact to this day without major changes. It is one of the oldest and best preserved Jewish historical monuments in the Czech Republic and the whole of Europe.
 

Address

Antonína Trapla, 680 01 Boskovice
GPS: 49.487409, 16.658736

Opening Hours

Entry fees

Standard fee: 30 Kč

Senior fee: 20 Kč

Student fee: 15 Kč

Boskovice Municipal House

At no. 7 on Bílkova St. stands what is clearly a newly renovated building. It was built in 1826. Between 1849 and 1855 it housed the district government, while it was later home to the Jewish municipal authority and, until 1920, a German Jewish school.  

Address

Bílkova 600, 680 01 Boskovice
GPS: 49.486906, 16.657435

Opening Hours

Entry fees

Standard fee: 30 Kč

Children fee: 20 Kč

Student fee: 15 Kč

Boskovice Jewish cemetery

At the time of its emergence, Boskovice’s historic Jewish community established a cemetery whose location is today unknown, although the search for it has given many historians sleepless nights. A second cemetery, which you can visit today, was most likely created in the 17th century and ranks among the most valuable historical landmarks in Moravia.
 

Address

Potoční 680 01 Boskovice
GPS: 49.4851800, 16.6491197

Opening Hours

Hotel Pod Zámkem

The hotel offers 25 rooms with modern facilities and ensuite bathrooms. Rooms have single or double beds though staff are happy to accommodate larger family groups staff by turning double rooms into family suites.

Address

Hotel Pod Zámkem
Hradní 4
680 01 Boskovice
GPS: 49.485740, 16.661665

Hotel Pod Zámkem

The hotel offers 25 rooms with modern facilities and ensuite bathrooms. Rooms have single or double beds though staff are happy to accommodate larger family groups staff by turning double rooms into family suites.

Address

Hotel Pod Zámkem
Hradní 4
680 01 Boskovice
GPS: 49.485740, 16.661665