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VODNANY: Strakonice, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

map and photos: "The town Vodňany is situated about 7 km SW of the town Protivín near the Blanice river in the countryside full of ponds in the Českobudějovická Pánev (České Budějovice Basin).The town was probably founded by King Premysl Ottakar II in the second half of the 13th century on a former settlement of fishermen called Vodná. It obtained a lot of burghal rights and privileges in 1336. During the Hussite Wars, the town was important support for the Hussites. In the 15th century many ponds were built in the surroundings and the fishery developed. The gold panning on the Blanice river started the boom of Vodňany at the same time. During the Thirty Years' War, the town was ravaged and growth stopped. The joyless economic situation became even worse after a big fire in the town in 1722. New development began in the 19th century. The special school of fishery has been here since 1920.

The remains of the town walls with three towers from the middle of the 15th century (two can be seen about 100 m south of the square) have been preserved. Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary dominates the square. The originally Early-Gothic two-aisled church was built between 1415 and 1435,  reconstructed in the 1580's, and later rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style between 1894 and 1897. The Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš participated in the design of the interior. Pseudo-Gothic furnishings are in the church. Some Renaissance houses can be seen around the square with the fountain (1920's). Napoleonic Church of St. John the Baptist from 1844 can be seen in the town as well. The town museum with exhibitions on town history, fishery and pond culture is located in the town hall (in the square) and in the former synagogue. Vodňany is a hometown of the famous humanist Master Jan Campanus and writers František Herites and Natanael Vodňanský. The dramatists and novelists Julius Zeyer and Josef Kajetán Tyl lived in this town as well. Lomec hill with pilgrimage Baroque Church of the Name of Virgin Mary lies not far from Vodňany." [February 2009] NEARBY:

Kratochvíle chateau

ruins of the Helfenburk castle

small village Chelčice

small town Bavorov

town Netolice

town Protivín


[Vodnany also used the cemetery at Cichtice]


US Commission No. CZCE000315

Alternate name: Wodnian in German. Vodnany is located in Bohemia-Strakonice at 49°09' N, 14°11' E , 17 km S of Pisek and 17 miles NW of České Budějovice (Budweis).. Cemetery: 3 km WSW of square and 800 meters W of village Prazak. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with 0 or fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 389 01 Vodnany; tel. 0342/90-50-01 and Mayor's tel: 0342/90-52-02.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 386 01 Strakonice; tel. 0342/242-20 and Jewish congregation: Ms. Jana Wolfova, Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, 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 and 231-07-85 and Mestske Muzeum namesti 18, 389 Vodnany; tel. 0342/90-58-90.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1724 recorded prayer-room. 1930 Jewish population was 114. This seat of regional rabbi since 1836 had increasing Jewish population until first third of 20th century. MUDr. Viktor Vohryzek 1864-1918), leader of Czech-Jewish movement, lived here. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1840 with last known Conservative Jewish burial before 1943. Protivin, 8 km away, used this unlandmarked cemetery before 1878. 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 a broken masonry wall without gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is approximately 0.08 ha.

20-100 near 100 stones, most in original location, date from 1848. 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 have metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves but has a pre-burial house ruin. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and woods. Rarely, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred frequently 1945-1991 vandalized after WWII. There is no maintenance. Serious threat: vegetation and vandalism. Moderate threat: pollution. Slight threat: weather erosion.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, Martina Chmelikova, Nad Ondrejovem 16, 140 00 Praha 4; tel. 02/69-20-350 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 on 23 November 1992. Documentation: censuses of 1724, 1921, and 1930; Vaclav Mostecky: Dejiny byvaleho kralovskeho mesta Vodnan (1940); and 1965 research notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha. Other documentation was inaccessible. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2009 17:38
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