The Krakow, Poland travel blog series continues with: What to see in the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, Poland
The Jewish Quarter in Krakow is called the Kazimierez district. You can reach the district on foot by walking right down the Stradomska and Krakowska streets (from the palace), which takes about 15 minutes from the castle base. The overall district, while interesting to see, does have a melancholic feel about it. There are various synagogues you can visit (all require a ticket) and all of which are very different from each other.
1 – The Remuh synagogue and cemetery – The Remuh synagogue is a very small structure built in 1557 and next to a Jewish cemetery. You do have to pay to enter the synagogue (fee includes a visit to the cemetery). The cemetery is interesting and I saw what appeared to be a tradition of placing small rocks atop the grave markers; although I do not know the significance of this act and I have never seen it done before. The cemetery dates back to 1511! Just in front of the synagogue you will see memorial plaques to families and friends lost in World War II; needless to say it isn’t an easy visit to make.
2 – The Tempel Synagogue is one of the newest synagogues, built in the 19th century. The interior of the Tempel Synagogue has been renovated in an Oriental-Moorish style with elaborate stuccoes and frescoes.
3 – The Old Synagogue is on Szeroka Street and was built in the 15th century making it the oldest synagogue in Poland! After World War II the synagogue was renovated to become a museum of Jewish History and today you can see various ritual artifacts.
4 – Corpus Christi Church is a church with many architectural styles from late Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. There is an unusual 18th century pulpit with elaborate carvings and detailed stalls from the 17th century.