The walls of the old synagogue witnessed many important events in Polish history. Tadeusz Kościuszko spoke in front of the synagogue, and President Ignacy Mościcki once paid a visit there. Today, the Old Synagogue is a branch of the Kraków Museum, which houses an extremely rich collection, including unique monuments of Jewish history and culture. The permanent exhibition is devoted to the history and culture of the Jews of Kraków. Its history probably dates back to 1494, when Jews accused of starting a fire were forced to move to Kazimierz as a punishment. When it burned down decades later, Matteo Gucci of Florence took care of its renovation. The synagogue, despite being expanded with women’s and singer’s halls, retained its Gothic character, albeit with Renaissance elements. Destroyed during the war, it was renovated in the 1950s and restored to its former glory. Today, it is one of the most precious monuments of Jewish religious architecture in Europe. Every year, the square in front of the synagogue hosts a Saturday concert – Shalom on Szeroka – as part of the Jewish Culture Festival, with a break for the pandemic.
Type of historical sites: Jewish Cultural Heritage