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Today we traveled from Mikulov, Czech Republic to Vranov nad Dyji.

Our morning began with a tour of the Jewish Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery in Mikulov.

When Czechoslovakia became independent following WWI, Nikolsburg was renamed Mikulov.

Jewish life here reached a peak in the early 19th century, outshining other towns in Moravia.

Jews benefited from the relatively benign regime of the Prince von Dietrichstein family,

Unfortunately, Mikulov was part of the Sudetenland which was handed over to Hitler by the appeasers

at Munich in 1938. Those who didn't escape died in the concentration camps.
 

                   

BELOW LEFT - The restored synagogue functions as a museum of Jewish history and culture.

BELOW MIDDLE and RIGHT - The cemetery's burial hall has emerged from long term

reconstruction as an exhibition space and back in the Jewish quarter proper.


                   

At almost 2 hectares, Mikulov's Jewish cemetery is one of the largest in the country.

The centuries of ivy-tangled gravestones include the final resting places of prominent Rabbis.

The oldest preserved legible tombstone is the tombstone of Samuel ben Leb Ashkenazi of 1605.

         

BELOW - Churches and hills along the way

                   

BELOW - Louka Monastery in Znojmo, Czech Republic

Louka Monastery is one of the most significant monastery complexes in Central Europe,

founded in 1190 in Louka by Znojmo duke Konrad Ota

                   

BELOW - Marian column in Znojmo, built in 1682

in memory of their 778 plague victims

         

BELOW - Lada surprised us with a picnic lunch!

         

BELOW - The remains of the “Iron curtain” on the border road. The Iron Curtain symbolized

the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe from the end of WWII

in 1945 until the end of the cold war in 1991. It separated tha Soviet union and

its satellite states from the west and non-Soviet controlled area, including Czechoslavakia.

                   

BELOW LEFT -  Judith in the Podyji National Park

BELOW MIDDLE - The town of Hardegg offers a particularly picturesque image.

It lies in the narrow basin of the Fugnitz, dominated by a proud castle

that looks back on over thousand years of history.

Today Hardegg is the smallest town in Austria. About 80 people currently

have their main residence in this border town at the Thaya River.

the village there is a border crossing for pedestrians and cyclists from Austria to Czech.