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The roadside town of Lendava is situated at the sunny terrace under the Lendava hills alongside the main road to Èakovec, Dolga vas, the border with Hungary and the connecting roads Murska Sobota - Dobrovnik - Lendava and Murska Sobota - Bratonci - Lendava. A recently contructed bypass is now connecting the area to Hungary. People lived in the Lendava area already in prehistoric times. Its excellent geographic and strategic position as well as the existing system of communications made it a place of choice for the Romans who built an important settlement and a military post called Halicanum just north of Lendava. Until the end of the First World War Lendava served as a point of departure for intense magyarisation of the Prekmurje region.
The old city offers a coherent picture with predominantly one-storey or two-storey houses, built under the castle at the foothills of the surrounding hills. Due to its advantageous geographic position, the region of Prekmurje in general and Lendava in particular, attracted Jews who started moving into the town in the wake of the Turkish incursions into Slovenian territories. They came from Austria and Hungary and settled among Hungarians and Slovenians. The first census of the population in the beginning of the 18th century mentions two Jewish merchants, Marx Lebli and Marx Jakab, and the following censuses showed an increasing Jewish population, composed of merchants, innkeepers, distillers, mead producers, lawyers and physicians. A Jewish school opened in 1850 and it was active until 1921. The last and much appreciated teacher in the Jewish school was Hermina Brünner, born Löwenstein. The last rabbi in Lendava was Mor Lowy.
What used to be a typical administrative and commercial provincial town is increasingly becoming a cultural centre. The renovated synagogue is today used for cultural purposes. It does not contain any items of worship anymore. The last Jewish cemetery in the entire region of Prekmuje that remained intact is situated in Dolga vas near Lendava. Buildings in the main street (Glavna ulica) indicate the importance of Lendava's Jewish inhabitants. Lendava and its surroundings contain the most important historical traces of Jewish presence in Slovenia. A decade ago, the Jewish school, which later became the rabbi's house, was standing in the vicinity of the synagogue, but it was demolished in the end of the 1990s to allow the construction of the Hungarian cultural centre.

Bojan Zadravec (bojan500@volja.net)


[Synagogue] [Synagogue] [Chapel in Dolga vas]
[Graveyard in Dolga vas] [Graveyard in Dolga vas]

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- Lendava Municipality