Walking tour on Kazimierz district (Jewish Quarter)
In recent years the definition of central Krakow has come to include not only the area enclosed by the Planty, but also the district of Kazimierz. Formerly a separate town, Today it is a Krakow city neighbourhood which we arrive at by descending from Wawel Hill.
The history of Krakow and its Jews whispers to us from every corner of Kazimierz. It can be felt in the layout of narrow streets and market squares, in the little buildings and Jewish cemeteries. After the tragedy of the Second World War and the massacre of the Jews by the Nazi invaders, Kazimierz was abandoned and for decades fell into ruin. The way was cleared for today`s explosive development of this part of the city by the breakthroughs of the late 1980s and the early 1990s.
Kazimierz made its way to the big screen, thanks to Steven Spielberg, who shot his Oscar-award-winning Schindler`s List here. The world famous Jewish Culture Festival, organized since the early 1990s has, from its inception, focused on the history and traditions of these people who once lived among us, through workshops, lectures, and exhibits. Today we can speak of a rebirth of Kazimierz and of its new face.
The key to understanding the popularity of Kazimierz is its extraordinary, age-old tradition of tolerance: for hundreds of years, two nationalities and two great religions coexisted here in harmony. Not far from the synagogues rise the churches of St. Catherine and Bożego Ciała /Corpus Christi/, while the destination of the procession held on St. Stanislaus` Day is the church of the Order of St Paul, “Na Skałce” /Church on the Rock/. The local clubs, cafes, and galleries are the place to meet for those who have deemed the Main Square as having become too “touristy”. Every visitor discovers for himself the extraordinary character of Kazimierz, where alongside exclusive hotels and restaurants there are craft workshops with leather goods, shoes, or engravings. This side of the area can be experienced by strolling about Plac Nowy, or down Miodowa and Józefa Streets, or visiting Szeroka Street, where the concert finale of the Jewish Culture Festival is held each year.
Kazimierz is also a place particularly appreciated by lovers of antiques. Here on Plac Nowy and Hala Targowa in the nearby Grzegórzki district there are bazaars of antiques.
In 2010, at the level of the former Podgórski bridge, the new Father Laetus Bernatek footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists, connecting the Kazimierz and Podgórze neighbourhoods , was put into use.
If you are interested and you can go there, you can find more here