Where time has stopped - a walk around the old Jewish district of Krakow.
Kazimierz, known as the Jewish district, is usually teeming with life. I took the photos I wanted to show you today during the lockdown in the early spring of this year.
Those were sad days and, at the same time, an extraordinary opportunity to see the usually crowded streets in a completely new version.
Abandoned and silent.
Szeroka Street. Tourists often start their sightseeing from this place. There are old synagogues and many restaurants. When I took these photos, everything was closed.
Gate to the Popper Synagogue from the 17th century.
Old Synagogue, built in the 15th century.
Remuh Synagogue is the smallest Krakow's Jewish temple, from the XVI century. There is an old cemetery next to it, closed in 1800.
Szeroka Street looks more like a market square (Szeroka in English means Wide). Many smaller picturesque streets surround it.
While exploring the nooks and crannies of the district, you will surely come across other synagogues. Before World War II, over 90 Jewish temples and houses of prayer were in all of Krakow. Synagogues and the entire district of Kazimierz were inscribed in the UNESCO heritage list in 1971.
High Synagogue was built in the 16th century. Its name comes from the fact that the temple is on the first floor.
Right next to it stands Kowea Itim le-Tora Synagogue.
Tempel Synagogue, built in XIXth.
The Isaac Synagogue, opened in 1644.
Hundred years ago, Kazimierz was a small town near Krakow. It had administration and city walls. We can still see a fragment of these walls today. In 1800, Kazimierz was incorporated into the city of Krakow as part of the Old Town District. Now we commonly call Kazimierz the Jewish district.
Fragment of the defensive walls of the city of Kazimierz. On the right, you can see part of the Kupa Synagogue.
In the end, let me show you a few more of my favorite places in the area. I always visit them when I am in this part of the city.
Many tenement houses are neglected, but it makes this place more authentic. You can feel the history here.
One of the most visited nooks and crannies is the so-called Schindler's List Passage. It is a beautiful little courtyard you can recognize in the film.
First, you have to pass the popular beer garden "Mleczarnia," empty during the lockdown.
These are the stairs on which the dramatic scenes in the film Schindler's List take place.
Another nice place - the courtyard of the Jewish kindergarten, right next to the Tempel Synagogue.
The old tram depot, which today houses the Museum of Municipal Engineering.
Tenement house on Szeroka Street with the Hamsa restaurant. It's already open, and you can eat there the most delicious baklava in Krakow!
Plac Nowy (New Square) cannot be missing from my list. Here you can eat the best "zapiekanka" in town. Zapiekanka is a Polish invention from the 1980s, a kind of mini pizza prepared on half of the baguette. There are plenty of atmospheric pubs and cafes around the square. I used to come here with my friends on weekends, to parties :)
By some miracle, a few windows with zapiekankas were open in April.
Each of the districts of Krakow has its own specificity and history. Probably because, like Kazimierz, they were once separate towns, absorbed in the 19th century by the growing Krakow. The Jewish Quarter is one of my favorite parts of the city. Even a short walk is enough to feel the atmosphere of this place. If you ever visit Krakow, be sure to go to Kazimierz.
I'm the only author of the text and photos.