Synagogues of Kraków

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Interior view of Old Synagogue, Kraków, Poland

The synagogues of Kraków are an outstanding collection of monuments of Jewish sacred architecture unmatched anywhere in Poland. The seven main synagogues of the Jewish District of Kazimierz constitute the largest such complex in Europe next to Prague. It is a unique on the European scale religious complex prescribed on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites along with the entire city district in 1978, as the first ever.

History[edit]

Kraków was an influential centre of Jewish spiritual life before the outbreak of World War II, with all its manifestations of religious observance from Orthodox, to Chasidic and Reform flourishing side by side. There were at least ninety synagogues in Kraków active before the Nazi German invasion of Poland, serving its burgeoning Jewish community of 60,000–80,000 (out of the city's total population of 237,000), established since the early 12th century.[1] Most synagogues of Kraków were ruined during World War II by the Nazis who despoiled them of all ceremonial objects, and used them as storehouses for ammunition, firefighting equipment, and as general storage facilities. The post-Holocaust Jewish population of the city had dwindled to about 5,900 before the end of the 1940s, and by 1978, the number was further reduced in size to a mere 600 by some estimates. In recent time, thanks to the efforts of the local Jewish and Polish organizations including foreign financial aid from Akiva Kahane, many synagogues underwent major restorations, while others continue to serve as apartments.[1]

Main synagogues[edit]

The synagogues of Kraków represent virtually all European architectural styles of the past millennium, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism and Modernism. Among the most prominent are: the Old Synagogue, the High Synagogue, Remuh Synagogue, Wolf Popper Synagogue, Tempel Synagogue, Kupa Synagogue and the Izaak Jakubowicz Synagogue. At present, only two of them are still active, and only one serves as a house of prayer, the Remuh Synagogue.[1]

The Old Synagogue on Szeroka Street, is the oldest Jewish house of prayer in Poland, built in 1407. Nowadays, the synagogue serves as the Jewish History Museum, a Division of the Historical Museum of Kraków. The exhibits are divided into four sections: synagogue furnishings and paraphernalia, Jewish rituals and festivals, the history of Kazimierz District, and the Holocaust. The museum features numerous items related to religious ceremonies, for example, candle holders, Chanukah and menorot lamps, covers for the Torah, parochot Holy Ark covers, tallit prayer shawls, and kippahs or yarmulkes. The museum holds also a considerable collection of books including 2,500 volumes of Hebrew manuscripts and prints. On the walls, there are original oil paintings on display made by Maurycy Gottlieb, Józef Mehoffer, Tadeusz Popiel, Jerzy Potrzebowski and Jonasz Stern.[2]

The Remuh Synagogue (Hebrew: רמ״א‎) on the west side of Szeroka, currently the only functioning synagogue in the city, is perhaps the most interesting of all Kraków's synagogues, built along the old row houses (kamienice).[3] It was founded in 1556 by a royal banker, Izrael (Isserl) son of Joseph, for his own son the great rabbi Moses Isserles also known as Remuh, who already in his youth was famed for his erudition.[4] There are also a Remuh Cemetery named after him, and the mikvah. Located further down on Szeroka Street is the Synagogue of Wolf Popper, the father of Joachim Edler von Popper. It serves as an exhibition house, with artists in residence.

Equally notable are the High Synagogue on Kupa Street, built in 1556-1563 in a Romanesque style, and the Kupa Synagogue, founded in 1643 by the Jewish district’s kehilla (a municipal self-government) as foundation for the local kahal.[5] The Isaak Jakubowicz Synagogue built in 1644, is located on Warszauera Street.[6] The Tempel Synagogue on Miodowa Street, was designed in the 1860s, on the pattern of the Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna, at a time when Kraków was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[2] On Józefa Street, there’s the Kowea Itim le-Tora House of Prayer built in 1810. It was once owned by the Society for the Study of the Torah hence its name.

Active synagogues[edit]

Inactive synagogues[edit]

Gallery[edit]

List of Kraków synagogues by street name[edit]

For list of Synagogues in alphabetical order, please use table-sort buttons.

# Street Synagogue
1
Św. Agnieszki 5 Cypres Hirsch Michael Synagogue (Stowarzyszenia Modłów i Dobroczynności)
2
Św. Agnieszki 11 Meisels Izrael Synagogue
3
Augustiańska 22/12 Beit Shlomo Synagogue
4
Augustiańska 22 Chasids from Radomsko Synagogue
5
Augustiańska 25 Tiferes Israel Synagogue
6
Bocheńska 4 Szejrit Bne Emun Synagogue
7
Bonifraterska 1 Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
8
Brzozowa 9 Ansche Chail Synagogue
9
Brzozowa 6 Deiches Salomon Synagogue
10
Brzozowa 17 Planczner Synagogue
11
Celna 5 Rabi Skawiński Synagogue
12
Ciemna 15 Chasids from Radomsko Synagogue
13
Ciemna 17 Chewra Sandlers Synagogue
14
Dębnicki Square
(pl. Dębnicki 6)
Jedność Izraela Synagogue
15
Dietla 17 Chasids from Działoszyce Synagogue
16
Dietla 58 Chajotim Synagogue
17
Dietla 64 Damash Synagogue
18
Dietla 64 Chasids from Piaseczno Synagogue
19
Dietla 107 Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
20
Długa 22 Dorshe Shalom Synagogue
21
Długa Grosmann Synagogue
22
Estery 6 Chasids from Czortków Synagogue
23
Estery 6 Chasids from Dzikowo[disambiguation needed] Synagogue
24
Estery 6 Talmud Torah Synagogue
25
Estery 6 Chasids from Góra Kalwaria Synagogue
26
Estery 12 Bobov Synagogue
27
Estery 12 Chaim Halberstam Synagogue
28
St Gertrudy 20 Lejw Tojw Synagogue
29
Grodzka 28 Tigner Mordechaj Synagogue
30
Izaaka 7 Chewra Szijur Synagogue
31
Izaaka 7 Dajons Majer Synagogue
32
Izaaka 5 Stowarzyszenia Bóżniczego Szir (Szijer) Synagogue
33
Jakuba 21 Mosi Hamite Synagogue
34
Jakuba ? Ansche Emes Synagogue
35
Józefa 8 Aufim Synagogue
36
Józefa 22 Ahawat Tora Synagogue
37
Józefa 24 Chasids from Stropkowo Synagogue
38
Józefa 5 Chewra Kadisza Synagogue
39
Józefa 32 Chewra Ner Tamid (High) Synagogue
40
Józefa 12 Etz Chaim Synagogue
41
Józefa 42 Kowea Itim le-Tora Synagogue
42
Józefa 16 Kromol Synagogue (annex)
43
Józefa 16 Krymałowska Synagogue
44
Józefa 22 Machsike Jesziwa Keter (Kejser) Tora Synagogue
45
Józefa 33 Reb Aron Klaus Synagogue
46
Józefa 15 Chasids from Radom Synagogue (New) (Stowarzyszenia Modlitwy i Dobroczynności)
47
Józefa 26 Chasids from Żarki Synagogue
48
Józefa 37 Epsztein Aron Synagogue
49
Kalwaryjska 21 Chewra Thilim Synagogue
50
Kalwaryjska 21 Nose Hamitah Synagogue
51
Kalwaryjska 26 Rabi from Zielin Synagogue
52
Kalwaryjska 29 Gmilus Chasudim & Menachem Aweilim Synagogue
53
Katarzyny 5 Chasids from Husiatyń Synagogue
54
Kościuszki 27 Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
55
Krakowska 7 Bojaner Synagogue
56
Krakowska 21 Chewra Sandlers Synagogue
57
Krakowska 26 Bojaner Synagogue
58
Krakowska Gmilus Chasudim Talmud Tora Synagogue
59
Krakowska 51 Joller Synagogue
60
Krakowska 29 Meisels Berisch Synagogue
61
Krakowska 13 Susser Leib Synagogue
62
Krakowska 21 Tomchej Orajse Synagogue
63
Krakusa 7 Rabinacka Synagogue
64
Kupa 16 Ner Tamid Synagogue
65
Kupa 16 Mizrahi Synagogue
66
Lelewela 5
(later Tatarska 4)
Bnei Jeszurim Synagogue
67
Limanowskiego 13 Bikur Cholim Synagogue
68
Matejki Square
(pl. Matejki 4)
Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
69
Matejki Square 2 Adas Jeszurim Synagogue
70
Mazowiecka Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
71
Meiselsa 14 Aleksander Synagogue
72
Meiselsa 17
(pl. Nowy 5)
Bnej Emun Synagogue
73
Meiselsa 18 Chewra Thilim Synagogue
74
Meiselsa 14 Chasids from Aleksandrowo[disambiguation needed] Synagogue
75
Meiselsa 32 Lykower Synagogue
76
Meiselsa 1 Tycziner Synagogue
77
Miodowa 11 Assiriri (Machsi Ke-Choklim) Synagogue
78
Miodowa 15 Beit (Bet) Israel Synagogue
79
Miodowa 13 Chasids from Cieszanowo Synagogue
80
Miodowa 12 Temichas Narej Bnej Israel Synagogue
81
Mostowa 8 Chana and Abraham Lednitzer Synagogue
82
Mostowa 2 Nosei Massu Haszejno Synagogue
83
Na Przejściu 2/77
(Dajwór 23)
Gewoha Bargiel Synagogue Na Górce
84
Nowy Square 1
(pl. Nowy 1)
Chaduzim Synagogue
85
Nowy Square 7 Chowewe Tora Synagogue
86
Podbrzezie 4 Horowitz Aszer Synagogue
87
Podbrzezie 6 Mcyjrim Imizgagim jad Charucium Synagogue
88
Podbrzezie 6 Reichenberg Chaim (from Zaleszczyki) Synagogue
89
Podbrzezie 6 Rosenbaum Synagogue
90
Podgórski Square
(pl. Podgórski 3)
Benzion Halberstam Synagogue
91
Podgórze Schornstein Synagogue
92
Prądnik Czerwony Landesdorfer Synagogue
93
Rakowicka 14 Bejt Jehuda Synagogue
94
Rękawka 30 Anszei Chail Synagogue
95
Skałeczna 3 Bach Synagogue
96
Skawińska 2 Synagogue in Jewish Hospital
97
Starowiślna 37 Agudas Achim Synagogue
98
Stroma 11 Bikur Cholim Synagogue
99
Szeroka 16 Ner Tamid Synagogue
100
Szeroka 40 Ner Tamid Synagogue
101
Szeroka 28 Gmilus Chasidim Debais Hakneses Synagogue (Stara)
102
Szeroka 2 Landau Szaul Synagogue
103
Szeroka 40 Mekarwin Latora Synagogue
104
Szeroka 28 Reichenberg Synagogue
105
Szeroka 25 Szezarim Synagogue
106
Szeroka 24 Szomrim Laboker Synagogue
107
Szeroka 24 Szywe Kryjim Synagogue
108
Szewska 1/2 Chasids from Bobowa Synagogue
109
Szlak 13 Merkaz Jeszyja Synagogue
110
Szpitalna 24 Ahawas Rajim Synagogue
(now Eastern Orthodox church)
111
Tatarska 4 Bnei Jeszurim Synagogue
112
Trynitarska 18 Bet Hamidrash Synagogue
113
Twardowskiego 15 Ansche Emes Synagogue
114
Warszauera 8 Ner Tamid Synagogue
115
Warszauera 1 Zauwche Zywche Cedek Synagogue
116
Św. Wawrzyńca 9 Ahawat Szalom Synagogue
117
Węgierska 6 Bnei Emun Synagogue
118
Węgierska 6 Bnei Chinim Synagogue
119
Węgierska Zucker Synagogue (Podgórze)
120
Węgierska 7 Chasids from Góra Kalwaria Synagogue
121
Węgierska 7 Benzion Halberstam Synagogue
122
Węgłowa 3 Chasids from Bełz Synagogue
123
Wolnica Square
(pl. Wolnica 14)
Chasids from Husiatyn Synagogue
124
Zwierzyniec 21 Cendeszim Synagogue
# Street
As per Krakow.Jewish.org.pl [7]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Adam Dylewski, Where the Tailor Was a Poet... website created under the aegis of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw; chief editor: Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywinski. Editorial assistance: Dr. Anna Marta Szczepan-Wojnarska, and Kaja Wieczorek from Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw
  2. ^ a b The Jewish Krakow, Old Synagogue. A guide to Kazimierz. Page stored at Internet Archive
  3. ^ "Remuh Synagogue, A relic of Kazimierz's golden age". cracow-life.com. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  4. ^ "The Remuh Synagogue of Krakow, Poland". Beth Hatefutsoth. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  5. ^ Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "Exploring the Synagogues of Poland: Wall Painting and Decoration" from the Internet Archive
  6. ^ Isaak Synagogue, Krakow, Poland
  7. ^ List of synagogues in Krakow between the wars

External links[edit]