Visit to Prague (october 2003)
The webmaster visited Prague in october 2003 :
My contact in Prague was Daniel Polakovic who works at the department
of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Museum in Prague. (Phone : +420 221 711 528, e-mail
Dan wrote a thesis about Darke Zion
Israel Naftali Porges (1650).
This 100 pages document is written in Czech.
However, Edita Attek, a member of the von Portheim family,
translated the Porges excerpts
from Czech to English.
It contains interesting information about the origin of the
Porges family (hence von Portheim).
Dan kindly gave me a copy of his work, which I will be more than
happy to forward to anyone interested.
The computer file was lost.
It would be interesting to have this document read by a Czech-speaking
person, and the relevant excerpts translated into English.
Dan also deciphered the Porges tombstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery
of Prague. All in Hebrew.
Most date way back before 1600.
promised that he (or his team) would transcript
the texts into roman characters and send them to me for posting
on the website.
Dan made the necessary appointments for me to
visit the Portheimka villa and took me to the Old and New Jewish
cemeteries of Smichov, where some von Portheims are buried.
Dan was told by the community that funds are needed to repair
and maintain the Portheim's monument at the New Jewish cemetery of Smichov.
The person to contact is :
Ing. Mojmir Maly
Sprava Zidovskych Hrbitovu
PRAGUE 3, 130 00
Phone : +420 2 272 739 045
Dan, thank you so much for
your time and your invaluable help.
Portheimka villa is nicely located in Smichov, a borough
of Prague where many office buildings are under construction.
It is the location of Prague's Carrefour hypermarket &
many new department stores.
It is becoming a trendy area for artists. The villa is located
along a small park, that once was probably part of the property.
There are two buildings.
One on the left that we could visit, and one on the right
that is reserved for private events.
The villa is now under the responsibility
of an official preservation public office :
NARODNI DUM NA SMICHOVE
namesti 14, rijna 16
150 00 PRAHA
phone +420 2 570 999 27
Mrs Jaroslava MALIKOVA has the keys to the villa and she
very kindly gave us a complete tour.
The building is extremely well maintained.
It is used occasionally for concerts, and the second floor
was used as a studio by a local classical music FM radio.
left aisle has three levels. There are two statues in the
front. They are copies of the originals which are stored
inside the building for preservation. On the left site of
the entrance, there is a curious grotto decoration.
On the ground floor, there is a public
cafe (Apostrof) and an area reserved for exhibitions (empty
when I visited).
are several rooms on the first floor.
A central concert room with marble on the
walls and frescos painted on the ceiling.
(Antoine Porgès visiting ... )
adjacent rooms with frescos on the walls and a few paintings
(none of which is a Portheim portrait).
insisted on visiting the second floor which Mrs MALIKOVA
said was totally empty, and it was.
No Portheim portrait there either.
the end of the park, there is a new office building under
construction and nearly completed. It is called the Portheimka
Center. On the picture, the P. villa can be seen in the
back on the right hand side of the alley.
we went to the New Jewish Cemetery of Smichov.
It is a very small cemetery.
The two Portheim graves are in the back, on the right hand
The monument on the left is the grave of
Joseph and Rosa von Portheim. At the bottom of the plaque,
there is a music score (Beethoven, opus 58 n. III).
This is the monument for which funds are
needed for renovation and maintenance.
Left of the above monument is the grave of Mathilde von
Portheim geb. Philipp and Gustav von Portheim.