Jewish Ghetto in Krakow

We spent a few days in Krakow after Warsaw. I loved the landscape on the train through. Insert photo spam here, not sorry. 😉

The old town boasts a beautiful old town square. I think the town square’s main building was prettier, but it was picturesque nonetheless. There was a stronger medieval feel here too. We walked through the old town and saw the last remaining gate of the wall. From there we saw old Churches, the main medieval  marketplace, and a castle! 

The original entrance to the city, leading straight to the castle.

 

Legend has it a dragon lived in the cave where the castle now stands, and the king promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to whomever could kill the dragon. A butcher’s son hatched a plan to fill a dead lamb with sulfur and leave it at  the mouth of the cave. The dragon enjoyed the lamb immensely but of course was unquenchably thirsty afterwards. Naturally, he tried to drink away his thirst until there was no water left. Only too late, he realized his mistake in drinking too much and tried to vomit it back up, but the combination of fire and sulfur exploded the misled dragon. And this is why Krakow decorates the city with dragons!

The old marketplace.

Part of the old wall.

This old Church was built by two brothers, who competed for the tallest tower. One was so jealous about his brother winning, that he killed him. Afterwards he felt so bad about it, he committed suicide from this tower.

The afternoon after Auschwitz we took a walking tour through the old Jewish castle. Our guide was very enthusiastic and had some fantastic stories to tell.  You definitely needed the stories to make sense and bulk out the quarter as there isn’t much to see if you don’t know what you’re looking at. 

We visited an old Jewish synagogue. I’d never been inside one before and it was very simple compared to Churches and mosques. 

We also walked through the Ghetto. Not much of the original wall is left. As with most of the time, Nazis lied to the Jews when taking them to the death or concentration camps from here, telling them they were going somewhere better. 64,000 people were killed out of the Jewish Quarter, 90% of the Jews here and 25% of all Krakow. After they left, Nazis ransacked their houses for treasure and dumped their furniture in the marketplace. To commemorate this, there are sixty-four lace-covered chairs in the marketplace today.

(Jan Karski was hesvily involved is helping Jews from here in the war.)

There isn’t much left of the Ghetto walls today, only this part of the wall. They actually resemble Jewish tombstones but historians aren’t sure if this is coincidence or intentional.

After walking through all of Krakow (or what felt like it) we caught a lift, golf cart style (best ten slotvi ever spent we think!) and tried to find a milk bar, a traditional but cheap restaurant. Thevone our guide reccomended was sboutvto close when we arrived but we found another restaurant which just so happened to be pretty similar to a milk bar! You could either a proper dish, or they could serve you a meal from the Bain Marie. You took your meal in its china bowls to your table (I had a scarily full bowl of barley soup) and afterwards, take your dirty dishes to a hole in the wall that connects to the kitchen. It was pretty cute! I liked all the checked tablecloths and canned vegetables on display. I tried cheese dumplings which was yummy!

Stay tuned for the salt mines!

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