Židovské suburbium Bardejov
Suburbium Bardejov
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Ritual Bath

The Mikvah (ritual bath) building was where men and women observed the personal practice of purity and holiness. The building faces Mlynska (Mill) Street, suggesting the location of a mill and stream adjacent to the Jewish Suburbia. Since the 19th century, the Mikvah was an integral part of a row of suburban houses on Dlhy rad (Long Row) Street, which were demolished in the 1970s. The building’s internal space is divided into four parts: eastern, western, entrance hall, and rear. The eastern part housed a ritual pool (approximately 400 cm deep) for women, accessed via a two-arm staircase, which can still be seen today. A similar pool for men occupied the western part of the building, now covered by the wooden floor of a building supply store. Both pools were filled by water from the mill stream or from a tank that collected rainwater in the water tower adjacent to the building. According to Jewish law, a ritual pool must be filled with water from a natural source and must be continually flowing. It must contain enough water to cover the entire body of a standing, average-sized person. The Mikvah’s entrance hall is a transition from the mundane world to the building’s inner sacred space. Its original wooden staircase and changing rooms have been preserved. The rear of the building contained steam and tub baths, which were open to the non-Jewish public during specific, though limited, times. Other smaller rooms served as restrooms. The Mikvah (ritual baths) building is a cultural monument listed under number 1789/3 in the Central Register of the Cultural Monuments of the Slovak Republic.



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Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway. Co-financed by the State Budget of the Slovak Republic.
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© Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia. All rights reserved. Eligible authors of displayed renderings are Dr. Ing. arch. Ján Krcho, PhD. & Ing. arch. Michal Mihaľák.