Reconstructed synagogue, rabbi´s house opened in Czech town


23.06.2014 14:55

Ustek - A synagogue and the adjacent rabbi´s house were opened after a thorough reconstruction in Ustek today, within the Revitalisation of Jewish Heritage in the Czech Republic project, subsidised from European funds.


V Úštěku na Litoměřicku byly 23. června v rámci projektu Revitalizace židovských památek v České republice - 10 hvězd po rekonstrukci otevřeny synagoga a sousední rabínský dům. Město se o využití synagogy bude dělit s Federací židovských obcí v České republice, která je majitelem objektu. V rabínském domě je expozice dějin židů a jejich školství v Úštěku a bude využíván i jako vzdělávací centrum. ČTK Zavoral Libor

The "Ten Stars" project of ten Jewish sights´ renovation is part of an integrated operational programme launched by the Culture Ministry.

The town will use the synagogue in Ustek along with the Federation of the Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic that owns the building. An exhibition on the history of Jews and their schools in Ustek has been installed in the rabbi´s house. It will also become an educational centre.

The synagogue in Ustek was built in 1791-1794. In 1851, it was raised by 1.2 metre, the gallery for women was extended, an anteroom was built and the interior was decorated with Moorish motives. The Jewish school was situated in the basement.

The synagogue served religious purposes until WWII. Then it became dilapidated gradually. It was reconstructed in the 1990s with support of the International Fund for the Victims of the Holocaust, the Czech state and the town.

The synagogue in Ustek was opened in 2003, after the first phase of the reconstruction. However, the building was too humid and needed a new deep insulation. The terraces below the synagogues have also been restored of late.

Within the Revitalisation of Jewish Heritage in the Czech Republic project, six synagogues and four other Jewish sights have been restored in seven regions for 282 million crowns in total in the past five years, thanks to subsidies from European funds. The Czech Republic has covered 15 percent of the costs.

The reconstructed Jewish sights will become culture and educational centres.

Apart from Ustek, they are situated in Brandys nad Labem and Breznice, both central Bohemia, Nova Cerekev, south Bohemia, Plzen, west Bohemia, Jicin and Polna, both east Bohemia, Krnov, north Moravia, Mikulov and Boskovice, both south Moravia.

Despite the periods of Nazism and Communism when many Jewish sights were destroyed, over 60 synagogues and about 350 Jewish cemeteries preserved in the Czech Republic are a historical treasure, unparalleled in Europe, says the Federation of the Czech Jewish Communities as the project's guarantor.

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