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In 1190,  the town of Volyně [town website history] already had town privileges. By 1520 Jews settled in the part of the town now known as Hradčany. The Jewish cemetery also was established in Hradčany. The earliest recorded Jew to settle there around 1521 was a man named Jakub connected with mustering of arms. Another Jew, Lazar, bought a house in 1565  for 70 Groschen in eleven instalments. Another Jew, Simon, bought a residence from a coachman, Martin, for 100 Groschen. In 1570 a Jew, Beneš, got a rear building. In 1584 Beneš found himself a debtor, but the council and hereditary protectors agreed on a reconciliation that avoided a whipping for him. Other interactions of the Jews are recorded also. See JewishGen SIG. In the 19th century, the ghetto wasaccessible only through a gate in a house. Several are still preserved. The Classicist aron-ha-kodesh is in the town museum. The19th century synagogue stands on the same sight as the original (center of the ghetto). Construction began in 1838 and completed in 1840 for 32,165 Imperial Florins from a lottery wining of 20,000 Florins donated tby Löwy Amsterdamer. As a result, the building cost the community a total of 12,165 Florins. The interior of the Classical building with figural decorations and a clock was renovated  about 1890. The cemetery with 300 year-old monuments may date  from the time of founding of the ghetto.During the earliest Jewish settlement, the cemetery may have been below Hradčany because remains were found during the highway construction. (Perhaps even older gravestones exist, but are indecipherable.) A 1912 restoration of the cemetery and its Renaissance, Baroque, and more modern monuments took place with construction of a hut for the watchmen was built in large part with funds from the sons of Philip Beck of Chicago. The record book of the Volyně Jewish Community confirms the restoration.[February 2009]

An annual [?] festival of Jewish culture and history called Jewish Days ( was held in several locations in the Práchensko Region (Ckyne, Strakonice, Volyne, Písek) from July 17 until Sept. 23, 2007. The programme includes theatre and musical events, film screenings, lectures and literary evenings. A trip around the Jewish sites of the Práchensko region was planned. [February 2009]

map and photos: "The town Volyně is situated on the Volyňka river about 11 km south of the town Strakonice. It used to be a fort...near a ford across the Volyňka river in the 9th or 10th century. The autonomous village is first mentioned in 1271 and in 1299 already was a town. It was a centre of colonization of this area and obtained a lot of privileges and rights including the right to brew beer. During the 15th and 16th centuries, crafts and sheep breeding developed most quickly. The import of salt to Bohemia became an important source of money for the town. The trade routes, which led through or near the town, were not used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Also many fires devastated Volyně at that time. The fires destroyed the medieval face of the town and the growth stopped. The town, comprised two autonomous parts in past and two squares, has been preserved. The originally Renaissance town hall,  built between 1501and 1529, and the Marian Column from 1760 stand in the upper square. The Jewish synagogue was built in the surroundings in 1939. A Gothic fortress on a knoll north of the square, which replaced the previous fort, has been well preserved and is the location of the town museum. All Saint's Church was founded together with the fortress in the surroundings and enlarged between 1460 and 1505, when the second aisle was added. Church of Transfiguration of Christ can be found in the cemetery on Malsička hill on the southern outskirts of the town. It was designed by V. Vogarelli between 1580 and 1618 and arched with a ctenoid vault. The Jewish cemetery with the richly ornate tomb stones can be seen on Děkanský Kopec (Decanal Hill). It was founded before 1724. Volyně is a hometown of the economist Josef Kaizl, the architect Josef Niklas and the literary critic Antonín Matěj Píša. The small village Zechovice with a lot of houses in the rural South Bohemian Baroque style from the middle of the 19th century lies about 2 km south-west of Volyně." [February 2009] NEARBY:

ruins of the Helfenburk castle

small village Lštění

small village Hoštice

village Vacov

small town Bavorov

small tonw Čkyně

castle town Strakonice


US Commission No. CZCE000316

Alternate German name: Wolin. Volyne is located in Bohemia, Strakonice at 49°9′57″N 13°53′10″E , 10 km SSW of Strakonice and 46 km NW of Ceske Budejovice. Cemetery: 350 meters NW of square (old town hall) in U vodojemu Street. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 387 01 Volyne; tel. 0342/954-77; Mayor Engineer Hadraba; tel. 0342/952-96 and vicemayor tel: 0342-950-15.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 386 01 Strakonice; tel. 0342/242-20; and and Jewish congregation: Ms. Jana Wolfova, ZNO, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25; and Engineer namesti Premysla Otakara 34, 370 21 Ceske Budejovice; tel. 038/237-92.
  • Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85 and Mestske Muzeum, Skoni 112, 387 01 Volyne; tel. 0342/952-12 and regional historian: Vladimir Braun, 387 01 Volyne 14.
  • Caretaker with key: Vaclav Jirsa, U vodojemu 362, 387 01 Volyne; tel. 0342/956-95.

Earliest known Jewish community was perhaps second half of 16th century. 1930 Jewish population was 51. Peak Jewish population was about mid-19th century with 20-25 families; Later, Jews moved to big towns. The Jewish cemetery originated probably in 17th century as second Jewish cemetery in Volyne with last known Conservative Jewish burial before 1943. Hostice before first half of 18th century; Cestice; and Nemcice, 4-7 km away, used this landmarked cemetery (Republic list). The isolated suburban hillside has a Czech sign or plaque ("Cultural Monument"). Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.1357 ha.

100-500 stones, all in original location, date from 1689. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves. Within the limits of the site are caretaker house but no known mass graves. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Frequently, organized individual tours and private visitors stop. This cemetery was not vandalized. Jewish groups within the country did the restoration in 1912, 1988. Now there is unpaid regular caretaker. 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 completed survey on 23 November 1992. Documentation: censuses of 1570, 1654, 1849, and 1930; Frantisek Teply: Dejiny mesta Volyne a okoli (1933); Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); notes of research made by Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha in 1966. Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. V. Jirsa in Volyne was interviewed in 1992.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2009 19:45
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