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Jewish Heritage in Lublin Region

7 days tour

The area of eastern Poland was once a flourishing centre of Jewish life. Hundreds of Jewish communities were spread across many of its small towns as well as in the cities, such as Lublin and Zamość. If you wish to fully understand the Jewish heritage of the region and sense the spirit of its 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 take you to an amazing journey through the little towns located in the beautiful landscape of the Lublin Region, such as Szczebrzeszyn (Shebreshin), Jozefow, Krasnik and Kazimierz Dolny (Kuzmir on Vistula).

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.

 

Travel to Lublin

Night in Lublin

Day 3 - LUBLIN, MAJDANEK

Guided tour of the former Jewish District in Lublin and the State Museum at Majdanek

 

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.

 

Majdanek. Concentration camp Lublin, commonly known as Majdanek, was the second biggest Nazi camp in occupied Europe. It was established in 1941, and functioned until the day of liberation of Lublin, in July 1944.

Visit: the area of the former camp, prisoners barracks and gas chambers bunker, the exhibition "The Prisoners of Majdanek", the crematorium building and the Monument to Struggle and Martyrdom.

 

Night in Lublin

Day 4 - LUBLIN, IZBICA, ZAMOSC

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 the post-war period, it still holds some precious tombstones with the matzevah of Seer of Lublin among them.

 

Travel to Zamosc - on the way stopping in Izbica

 

Izbica. Established in the middle of the 18th century, for most of its history the town was an exclusively Jewish settlement. During World War II Izbica ghetto served as a transfer point to the extermination camps in Bełżec and Sobibór for Jews deported from western Europe and Poland.

Visit: the main square, buildings with remains of a sukkah, the Jewish cemetery and the monument commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

 

Guided tour of Zamosc

 

Zamosc. A UNESCO World Heritage site. Zamosc was established in the 16th c. as an ideal renaissance town. Jews settled in Zamosc shortly after its establishment and within a few decades they became an important and influential community in the town. Among the many famous names that originate from its Jewish community, you can find the important Yiddish author I. L. Peretz.

Visit: renaissance main square, the Jewish quarter in the Old Town and the renaissance synagogue (today culture centre), the building of the mikvah and the lapidarium at the new cemetery site.

 

Night in Zamosc

Day 5 - SZCZEBRZESZYN, JOZEFOW, BELZEC

Guided tours around the shtetls and in the Museum-Memorial Site in Belzec

 

Szczebrzeszyn (Shebreshin). The oldest mention of a Jewish community there dates back to the 15th c. Within a few centuries, Jews dealing mainly with crafts and trade settled around the main square. In the 16th c., a cemetery was established on the outskirts of the town’s centre. Today, it is one of the oldest and biggest preserved cemeteries in Poland, holding hundreds of tombstones.

Visit: the synagogue building (today culture centre), Jewish cemetery and the memorial for the victims of mass execution on the site.

 

Jozefow. The Jewish settlement there was established with the town, in the 18th c. In the 19th c., Becalel Waks established the first Hebrew printing house in Jozefow. Within the next few decades, the town became famous as the most active printing centre in the Lublin Region, having over half of its Jewish population working in printing and involved in selling books.

Visit: the synagogue building (today a library), Jewish cemetery, quarry, execution site and the memorial in the forest.

 

Belzec. The death camp in Belzec, established in March 1942, was the first place where stationary gas chambers were used for the mass killing of Jewish people. Within only a few months of its functioning, until December 1942, around 400 thousand people were murdered in this camp.

Visit: the memorial on the area of the camp, museum and the commandant’s building.

 

Travel to Zamosc

Night in Zamosc

Day 6 - KRASNIK, KAZIMIERZ DOLNY, WARSZAWA

Guided tours around shtetls

 

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 (both renovated), the main square, the building of the mikvah and the Jewish cemetery.

 

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.