Synagoga v Úšteku / Úštek Synagogue (North Bohemia)
N 50° 35.039 E 014° 20.319
33U E 453179 N 5603772
Quick Description: Unusual, tower-type synagogue from 18th century is one from the most interesting and historically valuable buildings in a small picturesque town Úštek in North Bohemian region...
Location: Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 4/3/2010 12:11:38 PM
Waymark Code: WM8H7D
Unusual, tower-type synagogue from 18th century is one from the most interesting and historically valuable buildings in a small picturesque town Úštek in North Bohemian region.
At the time, when on the town's square was built a Baroque Catholic church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Jewish citizens of Úštek were using for worhips a small wooden Synagogue. It was also at the time of the Toleration Act (1781), bringing a freedom of religion into Czech lands. But one year after finishing of the St. Peter and St. Paul (1793), whole town was badly demaged by devastating fire - and wooden Synagogue was one of its victims... Soon after this disaster local Jews received a permission to build a new synagogue from sandstone produced by town's quarry - and construction of the new Synagogu was finished in 1794.
The Úštek's Jewish community was small - in 1830 it had 60 members only. Despite of this fact, community decided to enlarge their temple - this task was fullfiled by a local builder Wenzl Jahn. Jahn added the neo-Renaissance entrance hall and in the ground floor he inbuilt two vaulted rooms (small room for Jewish school and modest room for cantors). Very interesting are the interior decorative paintings with Moorish motifs from that period. The rebuilding was completed by 1851.
Majority of the Úštek Jewish citizens were muderded by Nazis during German occupation of the country, so after WWII the synagogue remained closed and fell into disrepair. But in the last years the newly estabilished "Association for the Ustek Synagogue and Cemetery" (Sdružení pro úšteckou synagogu a hrbitov) with help of the Czech Jewish Counsil reconstructed the Synagogue and it serves now as a place for cultural events...