Kazimierz Part 1

1 : Introduction
2 : City (Day)
3 : City (Night)
4 : Churches
5 : Castle/Cathedral
6 : Fete
7 : Kazimierz, Podgorze, Plaszow, Oskar Schindler
8 : Wieliczka Salt Mine

On the way by coach to the centre of Kaminierz we pass the Church of St Stanislaw (also known as 'Kosciól na Skalce' or 'Church on the Rock'), a Paulite church and monastery situated on the banks of the Vistula River.

A Romanesque church originally stood on this elevated site. Bishop Stanislaw was murdered by beheading on this site by order of King Boleslaw in 1079.

The cause of a conflict between bishop and king is not entirely known, but it reached a boiling point when Stanislaw excommunicated the king. The king then accused the bishop of treason and had him brutally killed in this church. (The violent story is remarkably similar to that of King Henry II and Bishop Thomas à Becket in Canterbury, England.)

In 1088 Stanislaw's relics were moved to Wawel Cathedral where they remain today.

Stanislaw was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in Assisi in 1253. He was the first native Polish saint and is still patron saint of Poland, Krakow, and some other Polish dioceses.

In the 14th century the Romanesque church was replaced by King Casimir III (1310-70) by a new Gothic church and since 1472 the church has belonged to the Pauline Fathers who also have a monastery here. From 1733-1751 the church was restored and given a Baroque 'decor'.

The 19th century onwards saw the church become the burial place of some well-known Polish figures among whom are :

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) - composer and pianist,
Ludwik Solski (1855-1954) - theatre actor and director,
Tadeusz Banachiewicz (1882-1954) - astronomer and mathematician,
Jacek Malczewski (1854-1929) - painter,
Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) - poet, essayist and Nobel Prize recipient.

The above information was obtained with acknowledgement to Wikipedia and to the 'Sacred Destinations' website.


Christian Part :

1.   Market Square (Wolnica) with a town hall, now housing an ethnographic museum
2.   Gothic St Catherine's Church
3.   Gothic Corpus Christi Church
4.   Baroque Church on the Rock (Skalka), the site of Saint Stanislaus's martyrdom
5.   Municipal Engineering Museum

Jewish Part :

6.   Old Synagogue, now housing a Jewish History Museum
7.   Remuh Synagogue and Old Jewish Cemetery
8.   High Synagogue
9.   Izaak Synagogue
10. Kupah Synagogue
11. Tempel Synagogue, still active

Since its inception in the fourteenth century to the early nineteenth century, Kazimierz was an independent town - a royal city of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom located south of Krakow Old Town and separated from it by ul. Dietla, where a tributary of the Vistula (Wisla) river once flowed.

For many centuries, Kazimierz was a place of coexistence and interpenetration of Christian and Jewish cultures. Its north-eastern part of the district was historically Jewish, whose Jewish inhabitants were forcibly relocated in 1941 by the German occupying forces to the Krakow ghetto in Podgorze.

Today Kazimierz is one of the major tourist attractions of Krakow and an important centre of cultural life of the city even though many of its buildings are rather shabby in outward appearance as may be seen below.

From 'In Your Pocket' Website with acknowledgement.

"In the communist era it became one of Krakow's dodgiest districts while gradually falling into disrepair (as may still be noted in the building exteriors shown below - Ed) . Rediscovered in the 1990s, thanks to the fall of the regime and worldwide exposure through the lens of Steven Spielberg, Kazimierz has since been on the rebound and is today Krakow's most exciting district - a bustling, bohemian neighbourhood packed with historical sites, atmospheric cafes and art galleries.

"Well-known for its associations with Schindler and Spielberg, traces of Kazimierz's Jewish history have not only survived, but literally abound in the form of the district's numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.

"In fact, no other place in Europe conveys a sense of pre-war Jewish culture on the continent better than Kazimierz. As a result the district has become a major tourist draw and could almost be considered a pilgrimage site for Jews, which has led to the return of contemporary Jewish culture in the area in recent decades.

"Each summer since 1988 the massively popular Jewish Culture Festival has filled Kazimierz's streets and cafes with music, while educating Krakow's residents and guests about the city's pre-war Jewish history and celebrating modern Jewish culture."

To access directly the pages describing the Jewish ghetto in Podgorze, the camp at Plaszow and the influence of Oskar Schindler please click
here .

For more about Kaminierz, it's 'Schindlers' List' connection, synagogues, the Remuh Cemetery and other town features please click on the 'Next Page' button below.

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