The Old Synagogue (Stara Boznica) in Krakow is the oldest surviving synagogue in Poland. Badly looted during World War II, it now houses a Jewish Museum.
History of Old Synagogue
The Old Synagogue was founded in the 15th century and remodeled many times. The present building dates from 1557, when it was rebuilt after a fire.
It was in this synagogue in 1775 that Tadeusz Kosciuszko encouraged the Jewish community to join in the national insurrection for the freedom of Poland. (He also supported the American War of Independence.)
During World War II, the Nazis used the synagogue as a warehouse and most of its artwork and Jewish relics were looted. They also executed 30 Polish hostages at its wall in 1943.
The Old Synagogue was restored in 1955-1957and opened as a Jewish museum in 1961.
What to See at Old Synagogue
Today the Old Synagogue houses the Museum of the History and Culture of Kraków Jews.
The museum's collection includes liturgical objects, ancient Torah scrolls, textiles, dishes, utensils and shofars, along with photographs, documents and artwork documenting the history of the Jews of Cracow.
In the plaza in front of the synagogue is a monument to 30 Poles shot by the Nazis here in 1943.
Quick Facts on Old Synagogue
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|Coordinates:||50.051435° N, 19.948522° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Old Synagogue|
- Frommer's Eastern Europe, 1st ed. (April 2007).
- Fodor's Poland, 1st. ed. (May 2007).
- Virtual Jewish History Tour: Cracow - Jewish Virtual Library
- Synagogues of the Kazimierz district - Krakow Info
- Photos of Old Synagogue - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Old Synagogue, Krakow
Below is a location map and aerial view of Old Synagogue. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.