Jewish Slovakia

While evidence exists of Jewish migration to the territory of today's Slovakia from Bohemia, Austria, and Germany in the 11th century, and of the founding of the first Jewish community in Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony) in the late 13th century, the migrations and settlements of the 17th and 18th centuries had the most significant impact on the subsequent development of the Jewish community. Encouraged by the Hungarian aristocracy, Jews migrating to northern Hungary from Moravia, Galicia and Bukovina, and Lower Austria tended to settle near the borders of the states from which they had come, and to maintain religious, communal, and linguistic ties with Jewish communities across the borders.

Currently, there are hundred-five identified synagogues and prayer halls in country. Few synagogues were painstakingly restored and are used for cultural purposes, though most of them met different destiny. Also, 693 identified Jewish cemeteries have been preserved in Slovakia. Unfortunately, many of them have been desecrated and vandalized. Tombstones have often been stolen by unscrupulous people, and the peace of the dead has been disturbed by vandals who have succumbed to naive stories about treasures buried in Jewish graves.

The Slovak Jewish Heritage Route is a complex project that includes research, educational and promotional activities. It is aimed at advocating preservation of Jewish heritage in Slovakia as well as sustaining this attitude. These activities are to a great extend based on the results of the Synagoga Slovaca documentation project of synagogues, conducted in 2001-2006. The outcome of the survey (architectural plans, photographs, descriptions) is used to create an audience for Jewish culture in Slovakia, shape cultural policies and contribute towards improved site management.

Check also these related routes

Jewish Slovakia heritage and culture is also featured or related to these routes