47. Volyně

Jews are believed to have lived in Volyně before 1500. In around 1650, there were 12 Jewish families living in Volyně, least 18 families in 1724, in 1783-1811 an average of 14 families, in 1849 there were 27 families (about 140 people), a total of 142 Jews (5.1% of all inhabitants) in 1880, 135 Jews (4.3%) in 1900, and 51 Jews (1.6%) in 1930.

Jewish houses. At the beginning of the 19th century at the latest, a small Jewish street (today Žižkova Street) formed with contiguous development on both sides and which consisted of 13 brick houses (including the residential synagogue) and perpendicularly connected to the south side of the lower square. The two-storey houses are still preserved as reconstructions. The first synagogue of unknown age and appearance stood in the middle of the west side of Žižkova Street. A second synagogue was built on the same site in the years 1838-1840 (now No. 250). The two-storey Classical building is decorated with a valuable Empirical facade: the columnar portico and a tympanum with embossed relief showing lions holding a crowned clock shield and a Hebrew inscription is interesting.

The synagogue hall filled the northern part of the building, while the southern part held the school and dwellings for the spiritual leaders. Services were held in the synagogue until the Nazi occupation. After the war, the synagogue hall was first adapted into a cinema then into a disco club, and the women’s gallery was removed. Other parts of the building are nowadays used as a music school, textile shop, etc.

The Jewish cemetery on the northern outskirts of the city on the street U Vodojemu, 350 meters northwest of the upper square, was founded sometime during the 17th century, but it is not known exactly when. The oldest preserved tombstone is from 1689. The cemetery was enlarged several times in the 19th century, the last time in 1870. This is a valuable cemetery with many Baroque and Classicist tombstones, and the cemetery cottage from 1912 which was built here when the cemetery was modified.