the south of Pilsen
The settlement of the Jewish ghetto in this town is very unique.
The Jewish town was established around 1727 ( according to the law about ghettos).
But Jews lived in this town already in the 16th century (first note comes from 1570).
Their settlement was spread those days. The ghetto was built later on the edge of the town connected to the town by one road. There were 14 houses surrounding the square. The synagogue and four other houses were in the middle. There were two families living in one house, one on the ground floor and the other on the first floor. The building were kept until know on one side of the square but from the other side were damaged by the socialistic style of building.
The synagogue was built in the richest period of the Jewish community in the 18th century in the baroque style. It was rebuilded in 1830. Divine services were kept here until 1920 when a judaic collection of Vaclav Mentberg (1886-1969) was placed here. Nowadays this synagogue is used as a museum and as a cultural hall of the town.
The interior decorations are geometrical and floral shapes on the walls. The original windows are kept and there is aron ha-kodesh from the 19th century. You can see some traditional handmade products here e.g. laces or pipes made of birch roots called kasovky ( first one was made by Frantisek Rybicka in 1828 and it became very popular). Another craft was pottery, the family of Stepaneks were making it for more than 200 years).
The reconstruction of the ground floor is going to be done soon. Originally there was probably a kosher kitchen , the mikvas were situated not far away in the park by the brook.
The Jewish cemetery was preserved in a good condition. It was situated on the edge of the town above the catholic cemetery, there is a marvelous view to the whole region.
Newly reconstructed ceremonial house is the entrance to the cemetery.
The cemetery is divided into three parts and you can see how it was spreaded. The oldest tombstones come from the begining of the 18th century (but the first note is from 1669). The funeral brotherhood was established here in the 18th century too. Surprisingly there are some Czech text on the tombstones. It is so because of the Czech rabbi Philiph Bondy who was preaching in Czech languague probably as the first one in the Czech republic.
Jews lived in this town until the begining of the second World war. All of them died in the concentration camps except one woman.
The town itself was established in 1264 as a fortress of nobel family. During the rule of the king Wenceslav IV. the town was own by Ann of Kasejovice and her husband Petr Zmrzlik who was a royal coinmaster, later a member of Hussitism. He was one of the important politicians and scientists. He supported the first printing of the book - the Trojans chronicle - printed in Pilsen in 1468 as the oldest printed book in the Czech republic). Kasejovice was privileged as a town in 1414 and some chronicles were written in Czech. The town had good natural sources - there were goldmines nearby, which were own by the nobel family of Rozmberks. The town owned many other privileges such as brewery, trademarkets and building. The town is build more in the town style than the country style. The building were build next to each other without any agricultural buildings. It is very unique for this region.
But there are much more interesting things.
The rectorial chuch of the St. Jacob was built in the gothic style in the second half of the 13th century. As the proof of this you can see the south wall influenced by the Zvikov´s smelting works. The building was reconstructed during the Baroque period. It is situated on the hill above the center of the town.
You can find several interesting and wealthy houses ( proof of the wealthiness of the citizen is in cross with the fact than in the 19th century 2000 people moved away. There were a lot of Jews among them)
There is a chapel of the St. Vojtech on the place called Boucek, there is a natural spring.
According to the old legend the known saint opened it himself. There used to be a wooden chapel and more and more people kept coming to see this miracle spring. The medical tests showed the healing results of this water already in the 18th century. The new chapel was built in 1833 and there were spabath until the end of the first World war.