Synagogues of Kraków
The synagogues of Kraków are a collection of monuments of Jewish sacred architecture 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.
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 prayer-houses 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. 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 and prayer-houses underwent major restorations, while others continue to serve as apartments.
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, Remah 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.
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.
The Remah Synagogue (Hebrew: רמ״א) on the west side of Szeroka, currently one of the few functioning synagogues in the city, is perhaps the most interesting of all Kraków's synagogues, built along the old row houses (kamienice). 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 Remah, who already in his youth was famed for his erudition. There are also a Remah 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 Jozefa 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. The Isaak Jakubowicz Synagogue built in 1644, is located on Kupa Street. Currently it houses Kraków's Chabad Lubavitch community. 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. Right after World War II a mikvah was built at the side of the Tempel Synagogue, as the Remah Synagogue's mikvah was no longer able to serve. (The mikvah at the Tempel Synagogue is currently serving men only). On Józefa Street, there’s the Kowea Itim le-Tora House of Prayer established in 1810 (probably built before this time). It was once owned by the Society for the Study of the Torah hence its name.
Popper Synagogue, Kazimierz
Zucker Synagogue, Podgórze
Chewra Ner Tamid Synagogue
Chassids from Radom
List of Kraków synagogues by street name
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 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 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
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 K. Brodzinskiego 8 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 
Notes and references
- 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
- The Jewish Krakow, Old Synagogue. A guide to Kazimierz. Page stored at Internet Archive
- "Remuh Synagogue, A relic of Kazimierz's golden age". Cracow-Life.com. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- "The Remuh Synagogue of Krakow, Poland". The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "Exploring the Synagogues of Poland: Wall Painting and Decoration" from the Internet Archive
- Isaak Synagogue, Krakow, Poland
- JewishKrakow.net, A guide to Tempel Synagogue Archived 2007-10-08 at Archive.is as well as the Krakow's old Jewish quarter
- List of synagogues in Kraków between the wars Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Synagogues of Kraków.|
- List of synagogues and Betei Midrash in Kraków between the wars
- Traces of the Past, Synagogues of Krakow
- Engraving of synagogue interior
- A guide to Kazimierz, Krakow's Jewish Quarter including the Old Synagogue: ul. Szeroka 24
- Who's who in the Jewish World?
- The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, The Remuh Synagogue of Krakow, Poland
- The Jews of Kraków and its Surrounding Towns, The "Old" (Remuh) Cemetery of Krakow
- Michał Rożek, Żydowskie zabytki krakowskiego Kazimierza, Kraków 1990, ISBN 83-85104-01-1 (in Polish)
- Aneta Kalemba, "Poland: Online presentation"
- Jewish guide and genealogy in Poland - Casimir / Kazimierz