A Great Kingdom and a History of Winemaking
For centuries Moravia has been known for winemaking and its wine culture, and it is also where most of the Czech Republic’s Slivovitz (plum brandy) is made. And although it grows other crops and manufactures lots of other things, these days when you think of Moravia, you think of wine.
House of Liechtenstein, House of Dietrichstein
Mikulov’s Jewish Population
Jews lived in Mikulov from as early as the 15the century, arriving after they were expelled from Vienna by decree (Mikulov is only 53 miles from the Austrian capital). Later that century, an Austrian Duke, Ladislaus, expelled Jews from all Moravian royal towns, and many of them settled in Mikulov, where they enjoyed protection from the Liechtenstein princes. As a result, Mikulov’s Jewish settlement “grew in importance and became the seat of the regional rabbi of Moravia,” according to Wikipedia. The famous Rabbi Loew (Judah Loew ben Bezalel, lived and worked in Mikulov for twenty years before moving to Prague. You can learn more about Rabbi Loew in my guide to Prague’s Jewish Quarter.
At one point, Jews made up 42% of Mikulov’s population. Sadly, none them survived after the Holocaust (or if there were any survivors, they did not return to Mikulov). However, the main street of Mikulov’s Jewish settlement remains and is now filled with restaurants, hotels and wine bars. Most importantly, the High Synagogue is still standing, and it is one of the “Ten Stars” project that, according to the project’s website, has “enabled the reconstruction, restoration, and preservation of 15 important [Jewish] historical buildings in 10 towns in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.” The project is funded by the EU and the Czech government.
Wine Tasting and Sightseeing
Contact me for more information, and be sure to check out my Prague guidebooks below! All are available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions.