|LOUNY: Usti nad Labem, Bohemia|
Louny region information [February 2009]
Louny is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region situated on the River Ohře. 50°21′26″N 13°47′49″E. The city was founded in 12th century (the first known written record from 1115). The Church of St Peter stands on the site of the original fort. The original name was Luna, which is preserved in the name of a park, Pramen Luna and accounts for the Moon as part of the emblem of the town. It grew up during the reign of Ottokar I of Bohemia. The Thirty Years' War depopulated the city. The second half of 19th century was the time of economic growth of the area. A railway junction with a factory for overhauling railway engines and rolling stock was established in 1873 that became a major employer and contributed to the town's expansion during the early 20th century. The former state company has now been privatized, but still remains the town's largest employer with a workforce of 750. Other industries are a brewery (from the hops which grow in the region) and a factory making porcelain electrical insulators for power cables etc. The architecture of the city was shaped mainly in 19th and 20th century when many old buildings were torn down. Nevertheless, the most important architectural sight is the Roman-Catholic St. Nicholas Church, erected between 1517 and 1537 in the late Gothic style. One of the architects was Benedikt Rejt. It incorporates a tower from an earlier church which was otherwise destroyed along with most of the town by a major fire in 1517. Parts of the city ramparts remain as does the Žatec gate which dates from 1500 but was reconstructed in 1872. Nearby is the Březno Open-Air Museum of Archeology." Wikipedia. [February 2009]
US Commission No. CZCE000358
Earliest known Jewish community was 15th century. 1930 Jewish population was 205. Jewish community (over 100 Jews) banished in 1542. From 17th century until 1848, only 1 to 2 families were permitted, but prayer room for vicinity existed. Modern congregation dates of 1860. Peak Jewish population was 567 Jews in 1890. Later, Jews moved to big towns. Scanty population existed after WWII. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1874-1875 as the third Jewish cemetery in Louny. Buried in the landmarked cemetery are Rabbi David Blitz (died 1912) with last known Conservative or Progressive/ Reform Jewish burial after WWII. The urban hillside, separate but near cemeteries, has a sign or plaque in Hebrew wall reading" "The gate for all living" and Jewish symbols on gate. Reached by turning directly off a public road-from a street and open to all, a non-locking gate and continuous masonry wall surrounds on two sides only. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.1712 ha.
100-500 stones, most in original locations, date from 1870s-20th century. The granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house with a tahara, wall inscriptions and platform for ceremonial speeches. Teplice Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are garages, central bus station, and municipal cemetery. Frequently, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups (seldom), Jewish or non-Jewish private visitors, and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991. Jewish groups within the country: re-erected stones and periodically cleared vegetation after WWII and did other work in 1986. Teplice Jewish congregation probably pays the regular caretaker. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access and vandalism. Slight threat: vegetation.
Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske namesti 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice; tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/553340 completed survey on May 17, 1992. Documentation: J. Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia, 1980; Frantisek Stedry: Dejiny mesta Loun, 1930; Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens, 1934; Jarbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens, 1893-1894; notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; letters of Engineer J. Nic, 1987; census 1890, 1930, 1991. Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. Anna Frolikova was interviewed for this survey on May 17, 1992 in Louny.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 21:42|