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Krakow Walks - Across the Kazimierz District 

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Krakow's Wawel Royal Castle
Wawel Hill with the Royal Castle

Stroll through the Historic Kazimierz Area 

A ten minutes’ walk from the tourists-swarmed Royal Wawel Castle one discovers the forgotten grandeur and impressive landmarks of Kazimierz, once Krakow’s medieval twin town, founded by King Kazimierz (Casimir) the Great in 1335. And its former Jewish quarter boasts both restored synagogues and energetic nightlife, courtesy of mushrooming clubs, cafes, bars, and restaurants.  

The busy Stradom street leads straight from the Castle’s foot to the Krakowska street, the backbone thoroughfare of the Kazimierz district.

Krakow on Foot
The best way to enjoy old Krakow is afoot.


Krakow's Skalka sanctuary
The Skalka sanctuary

Halfway the latter turn right, walk the short Ska³eczna street to the very end and find the quiet Skalka sanctuary, this country’s holiest place save Czestochowa. Here St. Stanislav, Poland’s chief patron saint, suffered martyrdom at the hands of King Boleslav II the Bold in 1079. The 17th-century Paulinite monastery in the form of a Renaissance castle adjoins the 18th-century Rococo-Baroque church whose crypt was turned into a mausoleum of great artists in 1880.

Stroll Up the Royal Road

Stroll Round the Grand Square


St. Catherine's church in Krakow
church of St. Catherine’s

On return one passes the arch of an overhead gallery of 1728 which connects a convent on the one side of the Skaleczna street with the tall Gothic church of St. Catherine’s (built 1363) on the other. Round the corner the majestic cloister of the 14th-century Augustinite monastery with splendid medieval and Renaissance frescos adjoins the church. Back at the main Krakowska street turn right and after a minute’s walk you reach the Wolnica Pl., once the central square of the city of Kazimierz. Its Renaissance Town Hall, dating back to 1528, houses the Museum of Ethnography nowadays. The massive Gothic church of Corpus Christi (ca 1340), with the adjacent monastery, towers over the northern corner of the square. The church boasts rich interior (e.g. remarkable stalls of 1629, the altarpiece of 1634, and the ornate mid-18th-century pulpit). The Bozego Ciala street in its front leads to the Miodowa street where after turning right you find the Moresque-Renaissance Tempel Progressive Synagogue of 1862, still in service these days.

Kazimierz Town

Jewish Quarter

Krakow synagogues

Old Synagogue


Old Synagogue in Krakow
Old Synagogue

One block down the Miodowa street the old brick wall of the 16th-century R’emuh Cemetery marks the limits of the ancient Jewish quarter in the city of Kazimierz. The next turn right takes you to the Szeroka street, once the central square of the Kazimierz Jewish Town, the capital of Poland’s Jews from the 16th century through the 19th century. At the square’s northern end one passes by the Dom Jordanow, the 16th-century mansion of Polish noblemen–it was incorporated into the Jewish quarter by the 18th century. The opposite end of the Szeroka street, where king Jan I Olbracht resettled Jews from Kraków in 1495, is taken up by the Renaissance Old Synagogue of 1570, housing the Museum of Judaism nowadays. It adjoins the remnants of the 14th-century Kazimierz city walls. In 1557 the Renaissance tiny R’emuh Synagogue at 40 Szeroka street was built next to the R’emuh burial ground. And the 17th-century Baroque building of the former Popper Synagogue still stands at 16 Szeroka street.

 Map of the Kazimierz District

Map of Krakow


Getting around Krakow


 
Krakow Old Town Historic District
Poland's prime tourist attraction and a must-see in Central Europe boasts numerous world-class monuments, charming vistas, delightful atmosphere, and the best restaurants.
Wawel Hill
Wawel Hill in Krakow, the mecca of every Pole and a must for foreign tourists, is a microcosm of Polish history and culture.
 

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