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kazimierz
Witalij B Posted on 2:13 pm

Jewish Quarter in Krakow – Kazimierz

Krakow is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is an old town with many attractions and places that delight with their atmosphere. Kazimierz is for instance one of such places. Below are some tips on why this is a must-see place. Let’s start!
jewish quarter
photo: lifepart2.com

The Jewish Quarter

Kazimierz in Kraków was established by King Casimir the Great in the 14th century. For many centuries it was a separate royal city. In the 20th century it was a bit neglected.  It is famous as an important place in Jewish history. Jews were resettled there in the 15th century. By the decision of King Jan Olbracht, due to conflicts and intolerance. In this way a separate district of Kazimierz was created, separated by a wall from the rest of the city. It quickly became an important centre of Jewish culture in Poland.  In the 19th century, Kazimierz was incorporated into Krakow as a new district.

Jewish Quarter during World War II

During the Second World War, the Germans who occupied Krakow resettled the Jews to the ghetto in the Podgórze district on the other side of the Vistula River. At that time, synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish monuments were devastated and then used as warehouses and stables. Before the war, there were almost 60,000
krakow ghetto jewish
photo:war-documentary.info

Jews in Krakow and they constituted almost 1/3 of the city’s population. Unfortunately, most of them were killed by the Nazis. Therefore, after the war Kazimierz was deserted and no one cared for the streets. Many older residents of Krakow remember Kazimierz as a ruined and even dangerous district of the city, inhabited by the poorer people. Fortunately, those times are over and Kazimierz  began to attract artists, residents and of course, tourists with its atmosphere.

Jewish Quarter in Krakow today

Today, certainly Kazimierz is one of the most recognizable places in Krakow. This district is teeming with cultural and artistic life. The most crowded cafes, as well as famous studios and art galleries, are concentrated around Szeroka, Izaaka, Miodowa, Józefa streets and around Plac Nowy (Nowy Square).

jewish quarter, kazmierz krakow
photo: biletyna.pl
However, it is difficult to make a complete list of pubs, cafes and restaurants that are worth visiting. Each of these places has a unique character and design, and there are dozens of them in Krakow’s Kazimierz. For example If you want to try something local, you can go to Plac Nowy (Nowy Square) and eat a popular dish in Krakow – Zapiekanka.

Interesting places to visit

First of all In Kazimierz, there’re a lot of synagogues that you can enter – the Tempel Synagogue, the Remu Synagogue and probably the most popular Old Synagogue. There is a Jewish cemetery near the Remu Synagogue. Every year, the Jewish Culture Festival takes place on Szeroka Street. It is worth visiting the Galicia Jewish Museum. From time to time, the museum organises meetings with people who survived the Holocaust and share their stories in the museum building.

szeroka street, jewish krakow
photo: polskaniezwykla.pl

 Another interesting place is the former city hall. The building was established right after the city’s location, in the center of Wolnica square. In 1414, a new brick town hall was built in its place, which was rebuilt and renovated many times. Today there is an Ethnographic Museum.

 

When you are in Krakow, Kazimierz is a must-see place. It is a completely different place than the Old Town, the Main Market Square. In addition You can also learn a lot about Jewish culture and food.

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