Old Synagogue, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

Considered one of the oldest places of Jewish worship in Europe the Stara Synagoga was built in the early 1500s up against the City Walls of Kraków. As such it marks the boundary today between Kraków Centre and Kazimierz.

This original structure was burnt in 1557 and was rebuilt in Renaissance style, although the interior is still far closer to Gothic.

As would be expected, World War II was not a good time for the Old Synagogue. The Nazis basically wrecked it and left it a vandalised shell and it was not rebuilt until the middle of the 1950s, by which time Kraków’s Jewish population was a shadow of its former self.

Since 1961 the Old Synagogue has performed the function of a Museum with a particular focus on Kraków’s Jewish heritage.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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