Krakow

Withinthe limits of Krakow, we may find the traces of one of the oldest Jewishcommunities in Poland. The first mentions about the existence of the Jewish districtin the town come from 1304. By the end of the 15th century, the Jewshad two separate settlements here. In 1495, they were combined and theso-called Jewish Town was created inKazimierz. Thus, a unique complex of Jewish buildings, gathered within oneurban district and visible today, was created. The rapid development of theJewish community: the first Polish Talmudic school, the first Jewish printinghouse and the presence of such prominent figures of the Jewish world as theRemuh or Nathan Nata Spira was the reason for which Krakow was called PolishJerusalem. This golden age of the Jewish culture in Poland, with itscentre in Krakow, left the oldest synagogues, such as the old Synagogue andRemuh. The next centuries brought the further development and remarkablediversity of this culture. In Krakow, the Hasidic movement, Reform Judaism andZionism developed. All of them left permanent traces: from the monumental edifices- like the Tempel synagogue to small prayer houses of brotherhoods – such as KoweaItim le-Tora. Also, the tragic years of World War II left their stigma: today, BohaterówGetta Square, the area of the former Płaszów camp, Oskar Schindler’s factory arethe witnesses of the history. The war and occupation certainly have changed theface of Jewish Krakow. Nevertheless, the Jewish community has been existing formore than seven centuries, synagogues are open, the Jewish life goes on.

Multimedia