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Great Synagogue of Boskovice, Czech Republic

  emmanueldyan ID: 9776
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Published: 11/03/2010
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Category: Synagogues Viewed: 936 Downloads: 0 Keywords Abandoned Architecture Boskovice Building Construction Culture Czech Republic Design Eastern Europe Faith House Historic Interior Jewish Jews Judaism Library Old Prayer Synagogue Temple Worship Description: In the mid-1600s Boskovice was a market town just beginning to thrive again after the damage of the Thirty Years War. Boskovice Synagogue was one of three constructed during this time in the town, which lies near Brno in southern Moravia. The synagogue sits among the narrow lanes of the town’s Jewish ghetto. Its congregants were members of a small rural community that had established itself in the area in the 14th century. They renovated the building multiple times over the centuries, reinventing it in the styles of Empire and Gothic Revival. By the 19th century, the ghetto had an estimated 2,000 inhabitants. As the synagogue grew and became a hub of Talmudic study, a painting program was conceived for its interior. The arches, vaults, and fluted columns were covered with frescoes of Hebrew text, spelling out prayers or the names of congregants. The words lend texture to the walls and are surrounded by curling floral motifs and painted architectural details typical of Moravia. After the disastrous effects of World War II on the people and monuments of Central Europe, the Boskovice synagogue is the only one of the three synagogues still standing and there is no Jewish population to use and care for it.