You are here: Home Eastern Europe Czechia (Czech Republic) ROKYTNICE V ORLICKYCH HORACH: Rychnov, Bohemia

A town in the Hradec Králové Region with around 2,500 inhabitants. The name of the town could be translated literally as Rokytnice in Orlice Mountains. Village Nebeská Rybná is an administrative part of Rokytnice v Orlických horách. The Jewish cemetery remnant of the former Jewish community in Rokytnice in the early 18th century was founded on sloping terrain in 1718. Its fate was affected by World War II, when headstones were used for paving the yards in the town center. The local Jewish poet Moritz Reich (1831-1857) is buried at the cemetery. Jewish Synagogue - Judaism Exposition in Podorlicko Region, Memorial of Karel Poláček - Rychnov nad Kněžnou:The synagogue dating back to the 17th century was damaged by fire and rebuilt in 1782. During the Nazi occupation, the synagogue was vandalised and its interior furnishings completely damaged. A total reconstruction was carried out in 1995 led to a May 19 Jewish Museum of the Podorlicko Region memorial of  Karel Poláček officially opening in its premises for public viewing.

580 meters from Rokytnice v Orlických horách  in the direction of Nebeská Rybná, is the delightful Julinčino (Julinka’s) Valley, a little village formed by just a few cottages. The first mention of what was then a charcoal burners’ settlement, dates from 1318. In the mid-16th century, there used to be a glass works. The original inhabitants were German. Following 1945, Czechs settled in the town. The first Jews came to Rokytnice in 1712. However, in WWII Jewish community members were taken to concentration camps. The tombstones from the Jewish cemetery were used to pave the yards in the center of the town. Recently, the cemetery has been partially restored. A cellar in a house in the town has remnants of a mikvah.[February 2009] Contact:

  • Address: Jewish Synagogue, Palackého 602, 516 01 Rychnov nad Kněžnou
  • Phone: +420 494 533 173
  • Web:


US Commission No. CZCE000396
Alternate German name: Rokitnitz im Adlergebirge. Town is located in Bohemia, Rychnov nad Kneznou at 50°10′11″N 16°28′23″E , 13 km E of Rychnov nad Kneznou and 42 km ESE of Hradec Kralove. Cemetery: 400 meters SE of square. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 517 61 Rokytnice v O.h.; tel. 04458104 or 8234; mayor's tel. 044581-34.
  • Regional: Petr ben Pinhas Narwa, Director, Okresni urad, 516 01 Rychonov nad Kneznou; tel. 0445/212-84 or 217-04 and Ms. Jana Wolfova, Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: Okresni Muzeum, zamek, 516 11 Rychnov nad Kneznou and Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85.
  • Caretaker: Engineer Tomas Vidensky, U nadrazi 495, 517 61 Rokytnice v O.h.

Earliest known Jewish community was first quarter of 18th century. 1930 Jewish population was 4. Jewish population peaked about 1850 with 15-20 families; later, Jews moved to big towns. Independent congregation disbanded in 1893 but synagogue was used until early 20th century. Native writer Moritz Reich (1831-1847), author of short stories of the ghetto, was buried here. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1718 with last known Conservative Jewish burial before WWII. Between fields and woods, the isolated hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via no wall, fence, or gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.0752 ha. 2

0-100 stones, about half in original location and 25%-50% toppled or broken, date from 1724-20th century. The granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew and German inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and woods. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred prior to World War II 1938 by Nazis, during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991. Local non-Jewish residents and individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin did restoration in 1992. Now, individuals occasionally clear or clean. Praha Jewish congregation pays the caretaker. Moderate threats: uncontrolled access, pollution, vegetation and vandalism. Slight threat: weather erosion.

Engineer Mojmir Maly, Ve Stresovi ckach 58, 169 00 Praha 6; tel. 02/35-57-69 and Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, 312 15 Plzen; tel. office 02/231-06-34 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 25 August 1992. Documentation: censuses of 1723, 1849, and 1930; cadastre of 1840 and 1856; notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); and Vestnik ZNO, XII, no. 34. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 20:50
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