Professional local guide
Look for a guide with a yellow umbrella or Walkative! sign.
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Please note that the Walkative! guides are independent and thinking individuals. Depending on the guide, the tours may vary, but they are always designed to bring you lots of knowledge and fun.
Without Kazimierz, the Jewish world would be as empty as a body without a soul. In a different time, in a different Kazimierz, Moses Isserles (the Remuh), one of the greatest Jewish scholars to ever live, said: “The aim of man is to search for the cause and the meaning of things”. Let’s follow his advice and go deeper into the history of the Jewish presence in Kraków.
Jews have lived in Poland for nearly a millennium. In the Middle Ages, the country became known for its religious tolerance and gave Jews an unprecedented degree of social autonomy. Expelled and suffering persecutions in many other European countries, Jews flocked to Poland and the population grew rapidly. Jewish culture and learning flourished in Kazimierz. By the mid-16th century, it was the most significant center of Jewish life in the world. Even today, Jews from all over the world travel to Kazimierz and Poland to find their family, cultural and spiritual roots. By the end of the 1930s, the Jewish community of Kraków constituted about 25% of the city’s population. Just like everyone else, Jewish Cracovians had their hopes, dreams, ideas and plans for the future. All of them were crushed by the war and the occupation. The streets of the former Kraków ghetto bear witness to the desperate struggle to survive, and the destruction of Kraków’s Jewish community.
Today’s Kazimierz is a very peculiar place. During the tour, you can experience many contradictory emotions all at once: joy at discovering the rich history, culture and traditions of Polish Jewry; sadness and nostalgia for the lost, pre-war world; excitement at witnessing the rebirth of Jewish life here. The uniqueness of Kazimierz can be measured by one more thing: its amazing transition from the worst slum in Kraków to the most vibrant and hip district of the city where the lights never go out.
On this 2 hours’ 30 minutes FREE Walkative! TOUR you will see:
Final point: Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square)