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Jewish Quarter in Krakow's Kazimierz District 

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Jewish candelabrum, Krakow

The Kazimierz Jewish Town 

In 1495 King Jan I Olbracht transferred Krakow Jews to the nearby royal city of Kazimierz, which gave rise to its once bustling Jewish quarter and a major European center of the Diaspora for the next three centuries. With time it turned into virtually separate and self-governed 34-acre Jewish Town, a model of every East European shtetl, within the limits of the gentile city of Kazimierz. As refugees from all over Europe kept coming to find the safe haven here, its population reached 4,500 by 1630.

Jewish Landmarks in the Kazimerz District

Strolling old narrow streets of the eastern half of Krakow’s Kazimierz district one still finds a unique atmosphere of the Jewish past of this area. To it attest also the exhibits of the Museum of Judaism at 24 Szeroka street, in the stately brick building of the Old Synagogue, dating back to the 15th century and rebuilt to Renaissance tastes in the 1560s. Other interesting synagogues are Isaac's Synagogue at 25 Jakuba street (17th c., Baroque), High Synagogue at 38 Jozefa street (16th c., late-Gothic/Renaissance), Tempel at 24 Miodowa street (19th c., neo-Romanesque), Popper's Synagogie at 16 Szeroka street (17th c., Baroque), and Remuh Synagogue at 40 Szeroka Street (l6th c., Renaissance) with the adjoining Remuh Cemetery.

Kazimierz's Old Jewish Cemetery 

Remuh cemetry by the Remuh Synagogue at 40 Szeroka Street was named after the nickname of famous 16th-century rabbi and religious writer Moses Isserles. Even today pious Jews keep coming to pray at his grave and the graves of their other great men who were buried here. The cemetery was used from 1551 to 1800. Its hundreds old tombstones, dating mostly from the Renaissance, as well as its history and surroundings make the Remuh Cemetery one of Europe's most interesting.

Holocaust in Krakow 

In March 1941 the German war administration forced all Krakow Jews to resettle in the newly created ghetto north of the Kazimierz area. The Nazis liquidated it only two years later on March 13, 1943. Most of the 17,000 ghetto inhabitants perished in the Nazi concentration camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow’s Plaszow whose site has been turned into a commemoration park with an impressive monument. 

Plac Bohaterow Ghetta, memorial to the victims of the Krakow ghetto in the World War 2
Memorial to victims of the Krakow ghetto in the form of oversized bronze chairs on the Plac Bohaterow Getta. 

Bustling and Lively Again 

Kazimierz district has become newly fashionable in the recent decade. With its mushrooming cafes and nightlife spots, it has become Krakow’s equivalent of London’s Soho, Paris’ Quartier Latin, and New York’s Village. Kazimierz district's recreated Jewish past and newborn reputation as a haven of artists and the young have made the rundown area near the Old Town trendy among tourists and the locals alike. 

Kazimierz Jewish quarter in the early 20th century

Watch online videos of Jewish sites in Krakow


Kazimierz Town

Map of Krakow's Kazimierz historic district

Stroll through Krakow's Kazimierz District


Old Synagogue

Krakow's synagogues

Center for Jewish Culture


Jewish ghetto in Krakow

KL Plaszow concentration camp 

 Auschwitz


Krakow 

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