The Jewish monuments and the Basilica of St. Procopius in Třebíč
The complex of St. Procopius ́ Basilica, the Jewish Town and the Jewish Cemetery in Třebíč has been a part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2003. The Jewish Town of Třebíč is the only Jewish sight out of the territory of Izrael which has been put on the UNESCO List of World Heritage. Once Třebíč used to be a significant centre of Jewish culture in Moravia and the remarkably preserved Jewish Town has remained a witness of coexistence of the Jews and the Christians. The first Jewish inhabitants may have come to Třebíč as early as the 13 th century.
However, the biggest number of Jewish settlers came in the second half of the 17 th century. The unique Jewish Town will make the visitors walk along its winding lanes, dark corners, arched passages and romantic small squares. It numbers up to 120 residential houses. It also includes the buildings of former Jewish institutions, e.g. the town hall, the school, the rabbinic residence and the poorhouse. The synagogue in the rear has been completely reconstructed. Its interior is decorated by unique wall paintings from the beginning of the 18 th century. The Jewish Cemetery was founded on the Northern slope of Hrádek Hill in the 17 th century and it counts 3 000 tombstones placed in a full-grown park. A part of the cemetery is a ceremony hall from 1903 with a uniquely preserved interior where burial ceremonies according to the old Jewish traditions take place even nowadays. The origin of St. Prokopius ́ Basilica is related to the history of the Benedictine Monastery in Třebíč. The cathedral, originally dedicated to Virgin Mary ́s Assumption, was newly dedicated to the Czech Saint, Prokopius, after its reconstruction at the beginning of the 18 th century. The cathedral was probably being built in the period between 1240 and 1260, almost continuously, without any significant interruptions, in the so called transitional architectonic style. The overall concept of a three-nave cathedral is Romanesque in style but it also shows the new elements of the taking over Gothic architecture. An example of the coexistence of the two styles is the purely Romanesque structure of the big apsis and the cross vault in the crypt under the chancel. One of the most valuable elements of the cathedral is the North entrance portal dating from the first half of the 13 th century. The cathedral, ravaged during the seige by the Hungarian troops in 1468, consequently falling into disrepair, was subsequently repaired several times. However, from the mid-16 th century it was used predominantly for secular purposes. In the era of John Joseph of Wallenstein it was profoundly reconstructed by the architect František Maxmilián Kaňka in 1725 – 1733. The devastated vault was replaced by the Baroque net vault and two western towers were built up in the Baroque-Gothic style. The final reconstruction of the basilica took place between 1924 and 1935 to architect Kamil Hilbert ́s design.