The Story Behind Prčice

by Kosher River Cruise Kosher Tour Operator
If you’re on a Europe tour, don’t settle for a Paris river cruise. Europe is much larger than that and has in interesting history.

One of the hidden gems of Europe is Prčice, a former town in the Central Bohemia Region. On September 6, 1957, a document was signed on the basis of which the ancient towns were merged with the modernly developing neighboring town of Sedlec into one town of Sedlec-Prčice, where today it forms the north-western part of a continuous urban development. In 2011, 532 inhabitants lived there permanently.


The first written mention of the village dates back to 1184.

It belonged to Lord Vítka of Prčice, from which the origin of the oldest Czech noble families of the Vítkovci, respectively. Rosenbergs, lords of Krumlov, lords of Hradec, lords of Landštejn and lords of Sezimovo Ústí.

The original mansion was located next to the originally Romanesque church of St. Lawrence, which was first gothic and after the fire in 1701 and Baroque rebuilding. Over time, three fortresses arose in Prčice and in 1591 Adam Voračický of Paběnice started the construction of the castle. The ruling rulers Voračické z Paběnice. In 1357 Benes of Choustník mentioned this.

The Jews in Prčice

Sometime before 1724 Jewish settlement was established in Prčice, from which a separate Jewish community was eventually developed. It was very likely that the individual Jewish families were established among the Christian population (which was usual in Central Bohemia at that time) during the 17th century, so there was no ghetto. However, more accurate sources from this period are not yet described in more detail. We only know that the town's list of Jews (dating back to 1724) lists "an indefinite number of Jews" as of 1618, and any mention of the Jewish population from the city records disappears until 1702there are 7 Jews over ten years old, then the local Jews with infallible precision in terms of number, names, occupations and residence are led until the Josephine reforms in Familiar lists. 

In the 1724 Jewish List, it is stated that in the palace wine shop on the first floor there was a prayer house since 1689 and besides, there are mentioned three families: Salomon Cantor drasler with a wife and five children (one married son Bernard with Perl and one daughter was nourished as a distiller, the second son of Jacob helped his father with the production of potash and third son, fifteen Zacharias, helped by his brother Bernard in vinoplaně and trading in hides and other goods), tanner Feischel Moises, wife Hanele and three daughters (employed a helper in a tannery Lebenman from Nadějkov) and a merchant with linen and other goods, Josef Israel, with a wife and four children.

Year 1880 lived in Prčice 31 Jews, in 1890  45 Jews, in 1900 52 Jews, in 1910 lived in the village 43 Jews , in r. 1921 , as reported by Hugo Gold and Jan Polák-Rokycana "less than 30 souls" (in fact, 24 people) and in 1930 23 inhabitants reporting to the Jewish religion.

To the Jews, the local village belonged in the 20th century and these previously separate municipalities žiovské: Borotín, Divišovice, Jetřichovice, Kvasejovice, Lhota, Libešnice, Mezno, Mestizos, Nadějkov, Nosetín, Petříkovice, Přestavlky, Ředice, Sedlec , Střežmíř , Stupčice , Uhřice, Veletice, Bolechovice, Červený Újezd, Velké Heřmanice.

From Prčice came the conductor Adolf Čech (own name Adolf Taussig, 1842-1903 Prague) and his brother, soloist of the National Theater Opera Karel Čech (own name Karel Taussig, 1844-1913 Prague). Richard Neumann died as a soldier of the Austrian Army in the 1st St. war in Serbia.

In 1942, the local Jewish community ceased to exist, the inhabitants were first taken out of the holocaust, then taken to the Terezin ghetto (Transport "Bd" on September 4, 1942) and then murdered in concentration camps. The list of murdered Holocaust Victims counts 31 names, only the Friedman family was saved, by emigration to Palestine at the beginning of the war.

The former not insignificant Jewish settlement of Prčice is reminded today of a Jewish cemetery from the middle of the 18th century, located about half a kilometer from the edge of Prčice, in the northeastern direction, where about 50 classical and modern tombstones were preserved. After the Second World War, the cemetery suffered devastation and devastation, starting with 1995, a mortuary and a fencing wall were renovated and reconstructed. 

The original, though remodeled building of the Jewish religious community, schools and synagogues, the building no. 68 (house under the town hall) has been preserved on the square of Vítka in the city center. Construction land was purchased for the Jewish religious community of Moises Strauss by Johann Pištek, the synagogue was built in 1852-1854 in the rear of the new building as a replacement for an older prayer house dating back to the 18th century in the house No. 109. Ceremoniously consecrated with the participation of Voebi rabbi Moisse Schiffmann on the eve of Sabbath, on Friday August 18, 1854 (24th Aun 5614 according to the Jewish period).

The synagogue served the Jewish and cross-country Jews for almost five generations until the Nazi occupation in 1939. In the prayer room there were 58 male seats and a gallery of 22 female seats, the interior was decorated with decorative painting, carved wooden elements, the eastern wall was illuminated by two typical semi-circular windows with stained glass, and above the tabernacle aron ha-kodesh was a rosette. By 1924, he was 41-year-old Rabbi Hynek Kohn, after 1924 Viktor Taussig.

From the second half of the 19th century. until 1910, a German Jewish school operated in the same building, and probably by the early 20th century Jewish ritual bath mikve, the remains of which are probably still in the cellar of the building. In the front of the house, with windows to the square, there was a sham apartment.
The Jewish religious community in Prčice was not after the 2nd St. the war was restored and the object of the former synagogue passed under the administration of the Prague Jewish Community, which in 1961 sold it to the Opus cooperative, which after the radical reconstruction established a production facility for special saddlery products. In 2007, the property was purchased by a private owner, who then commenced its reconstruction.

At the beginning of the Nazi occupation ritual objects from the synagogue were taken to Prague, where they are still preserved in the collections of the Jewish Museum. There are 129 objects and 80 archival records, including three surviving photographs of the synagogue from 1942. The oldest subject dates back to 1722.

Pochod Praha-Prčice

Since 1966 Prcice has been the destination of the Prague-Prčice march, the most famous and most massive Czech tourist event. One of his songs is also mentioned by Ivan Mladek.

There’s so much Jewish history here. It’s a must-visit for anyone travelling on a kosher tour.

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