Jewish district route - based on

Walking route of The Visitor free guide - KAZIMIERZ DISTRICT

The Kazimierz district of Kraków as seen on the map appears to be an extraordinary place developing as it did from the integration of two cultures, Polish and Jewish. There has been a Jewish presence in Kraków from the second half of the XIV century, but Jewish culture and the architectural style in this small part of Kraków began to predominate in the XIX c., when, in 1867, equal citizenship rights were given to the Jewish population of the city. Gradually, down through the centuries, the Jewish community created its own city within a city in Kraków. There were sixty four thousand Jewish people living there at the outbreak of WW II, 25% of the citizens of Kraków.

A stroll through Kazimierz is look into the past, to places with a distinct pre war atmosphere. The Visitor has a route that will take you past the most important monuments and attractions in the Kazimierz district. So, put on comfortable shoes, take something to cover your head gentlemen, put film in the camera and some change in your pockets for entry tickets and of course The Visitor - Kazimerz is waiting!


1. The New Cemetery

The district of Kazimierz is very easy to find. If you like walking take a stroll down from Planty along Starowiślna street until you reach the rossroad with Miodowa Street. You can also take trams 13, 34 to the crossroads of Starowiślna and Miodowa - do not miss the MIODOWA tram stop. Standing at the crossroads turn left in the direction of a small tunnel (under the train tracks).

Through the tunnel turn left to the New Cemetery (Cmentarz Nowy). This cemetery was established in 1800 just after the Austrians closed the Remuh cemetery because of its limited development possibilities and the hygienic problems caused by the expansion of the Kazimierz district. For those who enter it will be an ‘unforgettable’ experience. A place of calm and retrospection. A walk among ancient, fallen tombs shaded by high trees of great age. But look closely, some of the tomb stones are quite recent. The New cemetery is not just a historical place but a cemetery for the Jewish population of Kraków. Please note that men are obliged to cover their heads on entering the cemetery. If you do not have anything ask for a hat which can be rented at the administration office to the left of the entrance. This rule applies to all the synagogues and cemeteries that will be visited with The Visitor. The cemetery is open every day, excluding Saturdays, from 08.00 till 18.00 in summertime and till dusk in wintertime. No entry fee. Reserve at least 30 minutes.

Leaving the cemetery go back to the crossroads, Miodowa and Starowiślna streets, and straight on for about 400 meters.

2. The Temple Synagogue

You have now reached The Temple Synagogue (24 Miodowa St.), the so called Progressive Synagogue, which was established in 1860-62 according to the proposals of Ignacy Hercok. This synagogue was different from the others, for here women were not separated from men, and some of the prayers were conducted in Polish. The synagogue is still being used as a place of prayer for the few remaining Jewish people in Kraków or for visitors from Israel or other parts of the world. You may visit this place everyday, excluding Saturdays 09.00-18.00. Entrance for adults 5 zł, children and students 2 zł. At the entrance there are hats to cover your head.

Leaving the synagogue turn left to Estery Street then straight on to Plac Nowy (The New Square).

3. The New Sq.

Plac Nowy (The New Sq.) is colloquially called ’the Jewish square’ and it is the trading place in the Kazimierz district. In the heart of the square there is a round trading hall constructed in 1900. Everyday, fresh fruit, vegetables and household products are for sale here. Each Sunday from 08.00 till 14.00, the square becomes an exceptionally colourful trading place with many opportunities to buy original or second hand goods, clothes, old postcards, CDs, antiques. If you are a good browser you may find some original souvenirs of Kraków to take home with you. So if it’s not Sunday today... come back at the weekend...

4. The Center for Jewish Culture

On one of the square’s corner at Meiselsa 17 St. is the former prayer house, the B’nai Emun, which is now The Center for Jewish Culture, tel. 012 430 64 49, MON-FRI 10.00-18.00, SAT-SUN 10.00-14.00. The Centre is under the auspices of the Judaica Foundation which was established to promote the cultural heritage of Polish Jews culture. A programme of events is available at the entrance. Books and CD’s are also for sale. The centre organises many interesting exhibitions, concerts and lectures which are worth attending. Downstairs there is a antique shop where books, albums, photosand items of historical interest can be purchased.

Leaving the Centre turn right and cross the Nowy Square again to reach Izaaka Street. Walk about 100 m to Isaac’s Synagogue.

5. Izaak Synagogue
Izaak Synagogue, Kupa 18 St. (tel. 012 430 55 77), was founded by Izaak Jakubowicz in 1638. It is a large, early Baroque building that at the time of its construction caused great concern amongst the Christians in the Kazimierz district. During theNazi occupation the synagogue was turned into workshops for the Słowacki theatre, called then the Staatstheater. Nowadays the synagogue is under the patronage of the programme „Synagoga Izaaka”, which is collecting money to renovate the synagogue.
Open daily, excluding Saturdays and holidays,SUN-THU 09.00-19.00, FRI 09.00-15.00. 7 zł for adults, 6 zł for students. For groups of more that 15 people - 4,30 zł per person. Again the head (men) must be covered when entering. Reserve at least an hour.

Leaving the synagogue turn left into Izaaka Street and follow the side of the synagogue building. Turn right into Jakuba street and then left into Józefa St.

6. The Tall Synagogue
Just as you turn left you will see the Wysoka Synagogue (The Tall Synagogue), also called the Tall Praying House. It was constructed between 1556-63 and was the only synagogue in Poland with a prayer room located on the first floor. The room itself is 150 sq. meters large with walls 10 m high. At the beginning of WWII it was bombed and destroyed.
Museum (tel. 012 426 75 20)
Walk straight down Józefa Street and turn left into Szeroka Street.

7. Historical Museum
You have now reached the most typical street in Kazimierz - Szeroka. On your right is the Kraków Historical Museum of The History and Culture of Jewish People. It is the oldest synagogue in Poland and was constructed in the XV century. Inside there is an impressive number of handicrafts, graphics, paintings and other elements in every day life in this district. On view is the exhibition „Jewish artists in Krakow 1873-1939”.
The Museum can be visited with no guide: MON-10.00-14.00 FREE ENTRY, TUE-SUN-09.00-17.00.
 Last visitor half an hour before closing time. Adult tickets 7, reduced 5, group ticket 4,5 zł. Tours in English can be arranged for 80 zł. Reserve at least an hour.

After you have visited the museum take a stroll along Szeroka St. The most interesting part here is to your right, the facades of the buildings, many of them pre war. After you have visited the museum take a stroll along Szeroka Street. The most interesting part here is to your right, the facades of the buildings, many of them pre war.

8. Remuh Synagogue
On the corner of the street (Szeroka 40) is a synagogue and the Cemetery Remuh. The synagogue was constructed in XVI c., together with the cemetery. They are the most important religious places for the present day Jewish population of Krakow. Inside you may visit the prayer house and cemetery which was closed by the Austrians authorities in XIX c.
Open from Sunday till Friday 09.00-18.00. (We were here on a Sunday, a summer afternoon, visiting with many other tourists). Entrance 5 zł, reduce 2 zł. For men - a head covering can be rented. Reserve about 20 minutes.
Remuh is the last attraction The Visitor proposes, though there are many others in Kazimierz. Below is the route to get you back to the centre or you can spend an evening in Kazimierz. At dusk many people come to the area and the cafeterias, clubs and restaurants are crowded, colourful and lively till dawn. So why go back to your hotel when there is so much happening here?
To reach the crossroads of Midowa and Starowiślna streets go to the other corner of Remuh Synagogue. Follow the wall of the restaurant (10-20 meters) to Miodowa St. Turn right. Do you remember the place? This is where we started! We hope you enjoyed The Visitor’s guided tour!
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