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LITOMYSL: Svitavy, Pardubice, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

town images [February 2009]

"...a town and municipality in the Pardubice Region at 49°52′12″N 16°18′46″E , the eastern Bohemian town of Litomyšl emerged in the 13th century on the site of an older fortified settlement on the Trstenice path - an important trading route linking Bohemia and Moravia.The dominant feature of Litomyšl is the monumental Renaissance castle dating from 1568–1581. The buildings of the castle precincts are not only exceptional for their architectural refinement, but have also inscribed themselves in history as the birthplace of the Czech composer, Bedřich Smetana. On the elongated square, which is one of the largest in the Czech Republic, stands a town hall of Gothic origin and a series of Renaissance and baroque houses, many with arcades and vaulted groundfloor rooms. One of the most important of these is the House At the Knights (U Rytířů) with its remarkable facade. In the past the town was also a significant religious centre; it was in Litomyšl in 1344 that the second bishopric to be established in Bohemia was founded, although it ceased to exist during the Hussite Wars. In the 19th century, the Litomyšl Grammar School was of great importance.The cultural traditions of the town go much beyond regional and national frontiers. The exquisite interiors of the castle, especially the baroque castle theatre, the amphitheatre in the castle park and Smetanas’ house, all offer varied programmes of concerts and theatrical performances and thus enrich the life of the town throughout the year. In 1994 the meeting of the seven Central European presidents took place at the castle. The chateau complex was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999." Wikipedia. [February 2009]

"The almost forgotten Jewish Cemetery dating from 1876, which lies to the north of the centre of the city, is of interest. The Jewish community in Litomysl was liquidated during the Second World War, when the last burial probably took place. (Another Jewish monument - the synagogue dating from 1909-10 - later succumbed to housing on Komenského namesti/Komensky Square). The cemetery is not maintained, and over the past few years most of the tombstones have fallen and are now overgrown." town website [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000356
Alternate name: Leitomischl in German. Litomysl is located in Bohemia, Svitavy at 49°52′12″N 16°18′46″E 17 km NW of Svitavy and 41 km ESE of Pardubice. Cemetery: 1500 n NNW of chateau. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with probably fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, (Director: Josef Urban), Smetanovo namesti, 570 01 Litomysl; tel. 0464/3006; mayor tel. office: 0464/3021, home: 0464/2653.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury (Director: Karel Laznicka), Generala Svobody 5, 568 00 Svitavy; tel. 0461/411-11; AND Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85; and Okresni Muzeum, (head; Ms. Blanka Cuhelova) Snetanovo namesti 1, 568 00 Svitavy; tel. 0461/217-04; and Mestske Muzeum, Jiraskova 6, 570 01 Litomysl; tel. 0464/287.
Earliest known Jewish community was second half of 19th century. 1930 Jewish population was 143. Sporadic records concerning Jewish population in 15th-17th century existed, but congregation is not recorded; before 1848, only 2 Jewish families were permitted. Religious society originated in 1850's or 1860's. Later, independent congregation existed. Peak Jewish population was probably about 1900. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1876. Buried in the unlandmarked cemetery are founders of local shoemaking and textile industry with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial probably before 1943. The isolated rural (agricultural) hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall and non-locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is approximately 0.45 ha. 1-20 stones date from last quarter of 19th-20th century. The granite and sandstone finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house with wall inscriptions. Praha Jewish community owns the site used only for Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, Jewish or non-Jewish private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred in prossibly during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991 with no maintenance. Very serious threat: vandalism. Moderate threat: vegetation. Slight threat: weather erosion and pollution.
Engineer Mojmir Maly, Ve Stresovickach 58, 160 00 Praha 6; tel. 02/35-57-69 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5 tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 22 August 1992. Documentation: 1570, 1848, 1930 censuses. Die Juden in den bohmischen Landern (Munich-Vienna 1983). Zdenek Nejedly: Litomysl..(1954). letter of the chief of local museum (1981). No site visits or interviews occurred.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 19:51
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