Of course, the “free” walking tour asked for a donation at the end, but our tour guide, Anya, did a terrific job. In many ways, Kazimierz, a town created when the Jews were moved out of the old town of Kraków, was a lot less touristy and a lot more fun than Kraków itself.
Our guide, Anya, I think, was very lively and spoke very good English. Although she is not Jewish, she was very interested in Judaism. We spent a little time in the Jewish Community Center in Kazimierz, where she apparently works as a volunteer.
One of the speakers that Roadscholar engaged to speak to us was Robert Gadek, was Deputy Director of the Jewish Cultural Festival. He, too, is not Jewish and knew Anya.
Here is a little more information about Jewish life in Kraków/Kazimierz and people’s interest in it.
Below is the main synagogue of Kazimierz. The part with the pointed roofs was added later so that woman could worship.
The street where the synagogue is is lined with restaurants. This street was turned into a “ghetto” for Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, but it was not a ghetto.
Helena Rubinstein spent her earliest years in this house.
This synagogue was being renovated, I think. We didn’t go inside.
This amazing building was once a kosher slaughterhouse, with little windows where each butcher could sell their goods. It’s now a beautiful octagonal (?) place to buy prepared food and drink. This square was very lively.
This is the entrance to the Jewish Community Center, which wasn’t interesting enough to take more photos.
This sort of alleyway with apartments and restaurants was used by Spielberg as a set.
We crossed this beautiful pedestrian bridge to one of the sites where the Kraków ghetto was moved. It was nearer a train station.
Jews were moved from this ghetto to this square where they boarded trains to a death camps. The chairs represent the furniture that they were forced to leave behind: they believed that they were being relocated yet again.
Walking to Schindler’s factory. I didn’t take photos of the factory or go inside.
We found the best craft beer of the trip at this bar, Ursa Major, in Kazimierz.