You will be surprised to see how Jews and Christians lived side-by-side in peace and harmony during the Middle Ages. Even when a law mandated Jewish ghettos in 1723, Christian residents in the Jewish quarter voluntarily swapped homes with their Jewish neighbors outside the ghetto gates. It is thanks to this that the city centre, with a Jewish Quarter, cemetery, and a late-Romanesque basilica, have survived to this day. And all of this right next to one another.
In 2003, Třebíč, specifically its Jewish quarter and St Procopius Basilica, were registered in the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The extraordinary display of Christian tolerance played a significant role in UNESCO recognizing the quarter's value.
What you should not miss
On your visit to Třebíč (which lies in western Moravia between Jihlava and Brno), you must not omit a tour of the picturesque Jewish Quarter. It is one of the reasons the city is included on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. Here, you will find a maze of alleys and passageways with two synagogues, a school, town hall, and rabbinate. The entire old Jewish Quarter is enclosed on one side by a steep slope, and on the other side by the river with a built-up waterfront.
Jews and Christians lived side-by-side in harmony for centuries in Třebíč, and, even though they had different faiths, the respected one another. Only here could the Christian St Procopius Basilica, built in the Romanesque style with early-Gothic elements, rise up in the immediate vicinity of the ghetto. The Basilica is a gem of Bohemian medieval architecture.
A walk through Jewish Třebíč
If you would like to see a typical Jewish household from previous centuries, Třebíč offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to do just that. Through the help of the local museum, city resident Seligmann Bauer invites you into his home, which he built in the 18th century neighbouring the Třebíč synagogue. During your visit, you will tour the ground-floor shop with period furnishings, a bedroom, and other interior spaces. The former attic has been transformed into a pleasant lecture room with audio-visual equipment, and, several times a year, during celebratory occasions, the kitchen serves traditional Central European Jewish dishes.
Where else to go
Every Jewish quarter has its own cemetery. The one in Třebíč lies in the steep slopes of the river valley, and with roughly three thousand headstones, it is one of the largest in the Czech Republic. Just like every other cemetery, the one in Třebíč has a poignant atmosphere that will captivate you. A number of cycling routes also wind around Třebíč, so you can enjoy the surrounding area from the seat of your bike as well. Additionally, there is another city near Třebíč that is listed among UNESCO monuments: Telč, with its chateau and beautiful renaissance square. See for yourself that a trip to this nearby city is worth your while!