Cracow - Kazimierz 1. part

by Lars Haagen Petersen

Kazimierz, the old Jewish district of Cracow, is now enjoying a renaissance as Cracow's bohemian quarter. The last 10 to 12 years has changed the area from being a place you were trying to avoid to be one of the most charming and interesting places in Cracow.

Kazimierz is not only synagogues and Torah scrolls it's also enriched with a large number of restaurant and Cafés - May 2012

There were two major factors that came into play in Kazimierz revival. One was the transition from planned economy to market economy. The other was the film director Steven Spielberg's choice of Kazimierz as primary outdoor shooting area in the filming of Schindler's List.


Schindlers List poster 1993

Schindler's List is an American movie from 1993, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book of the same name, written by Thomas Keneally. The film tells the partly true story of businessman Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson and how he saved over 1000 Jews from death during the second World War II.

A view into a Jewish cemetery in KazimierzMay 2012

Kazimierz was originally established in 1335 by King Kazimierz the Great, as a separate walled town near the city of Cracow. After King Jan Olbracht had expelled the jewish population from Cracow to here in the 15th century the town became a leading centre of Jewish culture. Before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and captured the city of Cracow, the Jewish population of Cracow numbered about 68,000 and the district of Kazimierz was a vibrant center of Jewish life. At the end of World War II, around 6,000 Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps moved into Cracow. In 1946 and again in 1968, there was a wave of anti-Semitism throughout Poland, which caused most of the Jews to leave for Israel or the USA. By the 1980's, the only Jews left in Cracow were mostly elderly people living in the dilapidated buildings in Kazimierz.

KazimierzMay 2012

Since the fall of Communism in Poland in 1989, Kazimierz has been revived as a Jewish community, and it has become a popular tourist attraction. With its beguiling streets, unforgettable and unique atmosphere, synagogues and museums, as well as its cafés, bars and art galleries, Kazimierz is a place that anyone who comes to Cracow must visit.


KazimierzMay 2012

The Jewish Quarter is located in the eastern part of Kazimierz and is centered around Szeroka Street, which runs from north to south. As parking is a bit archaic, it is an advantage to visit Kazimierz on foot.

Good bye Lenin - The local hostel – May 2012

Even though it's rather cheap to live in Cracow it can become convenient to find a place where it's even cheaper. The local hostel - Good Bye Lenin - offers a place to sleep even most students can afford.

Café in Kazimierz– May 2012

Kazimirz is in many ways like so many other places in Europe's capitals - Soho in London, Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, Vesterbro in Copenhagen and so on. But Kazimierz is also an area where great spiritual learning easily go hand in hand with coffee shop talk. Here it's not unusual, that you with the one ear can hear readings from the Torah rolls, for with the second to hear giggles and laughter from the opposite Café. Life is lived and the tolerance is exemplary.

A small Café in Kazimierz - May 2012


The picture down under is from the Bernatha Bridge where it's very popular for newly married couples to hang locks with both their names engraved.

The picture to the left is from Kazimierz. It shows a young couple who just got married and now it's time for pictures

The picture to the right is just a small selection of the many different locks.

Kazimierz - August 2011



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