Czech 10 Stars: Mikulov

 

From the 16th century until 1851 Mikulov (Nikolsburg in German) was the seat of Moravian Jewish self-government and a center of Jewish learning. The famous Rabbi rabbi Jehuda ben Bezalel Liva (Löw) was rabbi here in 1553 – 1573, before moving to Prague. The Upper Synagogue is the only one to survive intact of 12 synagogues that once stood in the extensive Jewish quarter. It was built in 1550, then was remodeled in 1719-1723 with a new baroque layout ), with four domes vaulted into a Polish-style four-column Bimah in the center of the hall. A reconstruction in 1977–1989 destroyed many of the original details and ornamentation, much of which the 10 Stars restoration has recreated.

The permanent exhibit deals with “Rabbi Löw and Jewish Learning in Moravia.”

The large Jewish quarter is located on the castle hill. Today only one-quarter of the original complex remains —  90 houses, including the buildings of the Jewish school and an old-age home. The important and extensive Jewish cemetery, with the tombs of important rabbis, is nearby. An educational trail leading through the Jewish quarter was inaugurated in 2000.

Click here to see pictures of the synagogue before the 10 Stars renovation