Saturday, 21 November 2015
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Many people visit Kazimierz but only trudge to the obvious, well frequented areas. Places such as the New Jewish Cemetery are therefore sadly ignored. However, it is actually a very interesting and poignant reminder of the life that once flourished here and how it was cruelly snuffed out. History is still here, in the raw for the intrepid visitor to seek out.
Its name is actually a misnomer as it is distinctly not new! This enormous cemetery was established in 1800 and was the burial ground for many of Kraków's distinguished Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was built on land bought from Augustinian monks and is now accessed by crossing ul. Starowiślna at the end of ul. Miodowa, and walking under the archway underneath the main Kraków/Tarnów railway line. The road bends round to the left and you will see the cemetery wall and red brick pre-burial hall in front of you. Just before the pre-burial hall is the main entrance. Men, please make sure you cover your head. There is usually a small table with skull caps and a donation box when you enter.
The pre-burial hall is in a very sad, graffiti covered state at present, but hearteningly it is about to undergo renovation. Ahead you will be faced with a wall of gravestones inscribed in Hebrew lettering: some clearly very old, others distinctly new and shiny! Candles and flowers show that many people still come here to pay their respects.