Kazimierz, the district of Krakow, has been entrenched in the Jewish culture since its foundation in 1335. Then, the Old Synagogue was built. It quickly became the main center of the whole Jewish Community life. Nevertheless, with time some elements of Christian culture started to appear. Additionally, some catholic churches came into being. It turned out that the coexistence of both cultures and nations was possible and on the site of this Krakow district, available for all tourists synagogues still exist. Which of them are really remarkable?
Synagogues in Kazimierz
There are seven synagogues in Kazimierz. The Old Synagogue was built for the benefit of the Jewish families living in this part of Krakow. The next temple was built in the 17th century at the request of Wolf Popper, the contemporary Jewish merchant and banker. In a timely fashion, opposite to it, the synagogue Remuh appeared – a temple of Moses Isserles. It was built by a father for his son, the most important Krakow rabbi. The High Synagogue was reared in 16th century. Moreover, in the site of Kazimierz more synagogues are available – of Isaak Jakubowicz and Kupa. The second one was built in the 17th century for the benefit of the poorest residents of the region. The youngest Krakow synagogue Tempel, appeared as the last one, only in 19th century. It’s worth noticing that it is the only temple of Reformed Israelite in the world. In this complex of Jewish cradle we can also include two cemeteries. There is also Galicia Jewish Museum and the Centre of Jewish Culture.
It’s the oldest temple of this kind in Poland. The whole building was kept in the gothic- renaissance style. The Old Synagogue has very rich history. During the Second World War it was ruined and a lot of important works of art were stolen. Since 1958 a part of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow has been existing here. Memorabilia connected with the Jewish history and culture is gathered here. The visitors can see traditional ritual objects and tools, which were used by the residents in everyday life.
Isaak Jakubowicz Synagogue
It is the biggest and the most dignified of all Krakow synagogues. Its construction was founded by the private funds of Issak Jakubowicz Jekelesa. The synagogue is maintained in the baroque style. It is marked by the stucco decorations. Nowadays, there is the Centre of Jewish Education inside, available not only for all visitors but also for school group.
This temple is maintained in the Moorish-renaissance style with neo-romanesque elements and it is often considered to be the most beautiful Krakow Jewish temple. Its interior is decorated with outstanding Oriental decorations. This is why the synagogue wasn’t accepted by the orthodox Jewish society for years. It is still open for tourists who can see the traditional Jewish bathhouse placed next to the temple.
It is a half- renaissance temple. It owes its name to the prayer hall, which was located on the first floor. During its thorough renovation in 1971, murals with Hebraic writing were discovered. Now, the synagogue has monumental value and inside there is an exhibition of photos presenting the Jewish society living here in the inter-war period.