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Jewish Heritage in Poland

7 days tour

Jewish life in Poland was once a great civilization, a home for famous artists and authors such as Maurycy Gottlieb or the Nobel prize winner I.B. Singer. From the big communities like Warsaw and Krakow, holding a diverse groups of religious, Hassidic and even secular Jews, to the smallest shtetls. Lublin - the Jerusalem of Polish Kingdom as some named it - and its area, were a unique microcosm of that world. We believe, that if you wish to get a wide picture of different aspects of the Jewish heritage in Poland and sense the spirit of their long gone culture, it is not enough to visit the big centres, but it is even more important to experience the shtetls. On this tour we will invite you to visit Krasnik and Kazimierz Dolny, where traces of former Jewish towns can be still seen.

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Day 1 - WARSAW

Half-day guided tour of Warsaw (depending on the time of arrival)

 

Warsaw. The capital of Poland, Warsaw is nowadays a modern metropolis. The city suffered a great deal of destruction during World War II, following the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943) and the Warsaw Uprising (1944). Reconstruction of the city, especially of the Old Town and the Royal Castle, took a huge national effort, rebuilding both the buildings and Polish national self-belief.

Visit: the area of the Old Town and Sigismund’s Column, the Royal Castle and the Saxon Garden.

 

Night in Warsaw

Day 2 - WARSAW

Guided tour of the former Jewish District and the area of Warsaw Ghetto

 

Jewish Warsaw. The oldest mention of the Jewish settlement in Warsaw dates back to the 15th c., and it grew to be the biggest Jewish centre of pre-war Europe. Before World War II the Jewish community of Warsaw accounted for over 30% of its population. During the war the Nazis established the biggest ghetto in occupied Europe there. Following the uprising of its inhabitants the Jewish quarter was almost completely destroyed by the Germans.  

Visit: the area of the former Jewish quarter and the ghetto, Nozyk synagogue, Mila bunker, Umschlagplatz, the Ghetto Heroes Monument and POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

 

Night in Warsaw

Day 3 - AUSCHWITZ, KRAKOW

Travel to Auschwitz

 

Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

 

Auschwitz-Birkenau. KL Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration and death camps, and more than 1.1 million people lost their lives there. The museum, established in 1947, holds the historical exhibition, and the collections of the authentic items found in the camp. The Memorial consists of two parts, Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Visit: a tour of Auschwitz I-Main, the original camp buildings in Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the prisoner barracks, the unloading platform (ramp) and the ruins of gas chamber and crematoria 2 or 3.

 

Travel to Krakow

Night in Krakow

Day 4 - KRAKOW

Guided tour of the Old Town of Krakow and the former Jewish District of Kazimierz

 

Krakow. A UNESCO World Heritage site. The historical city of Krakow and its unique architecture survived World War II without a great destruction. The city risen to great European prominence thanks to King Casimir the Great, who in the 14th c. opened the University of Krakow, the third oldest academy in Central Europe. Krakow served as the capital of Polish Kingdom until the end of the 16th c., when the administrative centre was moved to Warsaw.

Visit: the Main Square and Renaissance Cloth Hall, Saint Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Hill, the Royal Castle and the Wawel Cathedral.

 

Kazimierz (Kuzmir). Founded by King Casimir the Great in the 14th c., the town quickly became a main centre for Jewish settlement. In the 15th c. the Old Synagogue was constructed there, and until today it remains the oldest preserved synagogue in Poland. Kazimierz became an important centre for Jewish religious studies since Moses Isserles, known as the Rema, established a yeshivah in the 16th c. The famous scholar was buried in the old cemetery next to his synagogue and his tombstone stands there until today.

Visit: The Rema Synagogue and the Old Cemetery, the Old Synagogue, the Izaak Synagogue, the Tempel Synagogue, the New Jewish Cemetery and the Museum in Oskar Schindler’s Factory.

 

Night in Krakow

Day 5 - KRASNIK, LUBLIN

Travel to Lublin - on the way stopping in Krasnik

 

Krasnik. Jews were granted the privilege to settle down in the town at the second half of the 16th c., and within the next few centuries, the Jewish town grew around its main square. In the 19th c., Krasnik became an important centre for hasidism with the followers of tzadikim of Ger, Modzitz, Rozwadow and the Eiger family of Lublin.  

Visit: the great synagogue and beth ha-midrash (renovated in 2011), the main square, the building of the mikvah and the Jewish cemetery.

 

Guided tour of the former Jewish District of Lublin

 

Jewish District of Lublin. The oldest mention of the Jewish settlement in Lublin dates back to the 14th c. The Jewish city flourished for centuries around the royal castle and the Old Town, the center of today's Lublin. During WWII Nazis deported most of Lublin’s Jewish inhabitants to Bełżec death camp and later on destroyed the majority of the district.

Visit: the area of the former Jewish district, Grodzka Gate and the Holocaust Memorial.

 

Night in Lublin

Day 6 - LUBLIN, KAZIMIERZ DOLNY

Guided tour of the former Jewish District of Lublin - Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin and the Old Jewish Cemetery

 

Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. Opened in June 1930, Lublin yeshiva was the dream project of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, who became the first head of the school. Its impressive building survived the war and in 2006 a synagogue was reopened in its interiors.

 

Old Jewish Cemetery. Known to be established as early as in 15th c., it is the oldest Jewish cemetery still existing in Poland. Destructed during WWII and neglected in post-war period, it still holds some precious tombstones with the matzevah of Seer of Lublin among them.

 

Travel to Kazimierz Dolny

 

Guided tour of Kazimierz Dolny

 

Kazimierz Dolny (Kuzmir on Vistula). The Jewish settlement in this town is known to have existed already in the times of King Casimir the Great, who in the 14th c. granted privileges to the Polish Jews. Legend has it that in this town King Casimir had a romance with a Jewish girl called Ester. In the 19th c. tzadik Ezechiel ben Zvi-Hirsch Taub settled here and made hasidism a mainstream among Kazimierz Jews.

Visit: the synagogue (today museum), the Jewish cemetery and the lapidarium, the main square and its historical buildings and the Three Crosses Hill (viewpoint to the town and Vistula river).

 

Travel to Warsaw

Night in Warsaw

Day 7 - Departure

Leisure time

Transfer to the airport

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Contact us to plan the tour

We wish to adjust the offer of the tour to meet your individual expectations and suit your budget. Please contact us for more details concerning: program, duration, sites to visit, language of guiding (Polish, English, Hebrew, Ukrainian), means of transportation or standard of accommodation.