Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Architectural plans for the synagogue in Brunn/Brno, Moravia #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

I have just come across a Judaica site offering for sale the architectural
plans for the synagogue in Brunn/Brno, Moravia, for the princely some of
£3,850 [pounds sterling]. Because of prevailing Jewishgen rules on commercial
sites, I cannot give you have the direct URL, but anyone interested should
contact me.

The Brunn synagogue was completed in 1855 and the architects were Count
Johann Julius Romano von Ringe and Count Schwendenwein von Lonauberg {see

After the revolution of 1848, Jews flocked to Brunn >from the surrounding
Moravian villages. Jewish religious and cultural life developed rapidly with
the founding of official associations. The building of a synagogue commenced
in 1853 on land purchased on Mala Krenova [later Prízova]. The Onderka company
was involved in the construction and there was a dispute about whether an
organ should be installed. The total cost of the building was 100,000 florins.
The cemetery had been founded before this, in 1852.

The first rabbinical officials were Efraim NASCH, David DEUTSCH and Veit
FRISCHAUER and in 1860 Dr. Baruch Jakob PLACZEK [1835-1922] was elected as
the first official rabbi of Brunn and later, provincial rabbi of Moravia
see: and

I was most interested to discover that Baruch Placzek had carried on a
correspondence with Charles Darwin. see:

Darwin wrote to Placzek on 15 Sept 1878 asking for his view on evolution
and on 19 Nov 1880, Placzek wrote to Darwin >from Brunn telling him that the
behaviour of pigeons was now different >from that described in Genesis! We
all know that Brunn had a very intellectual milieu, but this was indeed a
surprise to me. Whether Placzek had any relationship with Gregor Mendel
[1822-1884] in Brunn, I have yet to discover.

Baruch Placzek's famous father, Rabbi Abraham PLACZEK [1799-1884] is buried
in Nikolsburg see:

Now back to the synagogue architectural drawings: The signed plans are in
pen, ink and water colour - 14x18 inches in size [24.5x20 inches, with mounts].
They comprise of plans of the ground floor and gallery as well as front and
side views of the building.

The history of these drawings intrigues me - I wonder where they have been
since 1853?

Celia Male [UK]

Footnotes on the architects:

Johann Julius Romano von Ringe was born on 10 October 1818 in Konstanz
[Germany] and died in Vienna on 14 April 1882. He was sponsored by Count
Metternich; >from 1840 he worked with August Schwendenwein von Lonauberg
[Vienna 1 Dec. 1817 - 3 Nov. 1885], who studied in Vienna and Munich and
specialised in palaces and castles.

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