Kazimierz, an important historical district of Krakow, located south of the Old Town, was once independent and had a mixed population of Christians and Jews. It was founded by Kazimierz III Wielki in 1335 and saw massive development with the passage of time and some of its iconic synagogues, churches and museums can still be seen today. It also unfortunately witnessed its share of destruction in the form of plagues, floods and fires. During the outbreak of the Second World War, it transformed into a predominantly Jewish district with the quintessential atmosphere of one.
While most members of the community were gruesomely murdered during the Holocaust, some 6000 survived and presently, the existence of kosher restaurants and klezmer music in the Jewish Quarter helps in bringing out the essence of its population despite the fact that Kazimierz is basically a run-down area. It must be mentioned that Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s Factory’, although shot mostly in the nearby Podgorze suburb, greatly prevented Kazimierz from turning into a forgotten district. Make sure you see the Galicia Jewish Museum, the Remuh Synagogue and Cemetery, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Old and High Synagogues. Also hop over to Podgorze and visit the (in) famous factory. Kazimierz is a 2 kilometre walk from the Old Town Square. Trust your feet.