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Historical Museum of the Municipality of Krakow

Historical Museum of the Municipality of Krakow

Old Synagogue

ul. Szeroka 24


www.mhk.pl/oddzialy/stara_synagoga
starasynagoga@mhk.pl


Public visiting hours:
during summer season (April – October)
Monday 10:00 – 14:00
Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 – 17:00

 

during winter season
Monday 10:00 – 14:00
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 9:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 17.00

The Old Synagogue is the oldest surviving relict of Jewish religious architecture in Poland. It was built in the fifteenth century as a double-naved hall with a cross-ribbed arches supported by two pillars, and covered with a pitched roof, alluding architecturally to the Gothic synagogues in Worms, Regensburg, and Prague. In 1570 it was reconstructed by a builder from Florence, Mateo Gucci. Its walls were crowned with attics, which was the first usage of such a feature in a Polish synagogue. In the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth century additions were successively made of an anteroom, two prayer rooms for women and a house for the commune council, and the synagogue created a religious-administrative centre for the Jewish commune in Kazimierz. Before the First World War and after its end a multi-storey restaurant was added, designed in 1904, 1913, and 1923 by Zygmunt Hendel. During the years of the Second World War it was used by the Germans as a storage space. Its furnishings were destroyed and scattered. At the end of 1944 its roof collapsed, possibly intentionally destroyed. From 1956 to 1959 it was restored and at the same time adapted to serve in the role of museum. On the basis of an understanding signed on 30 October 1959 between the Jewish Community in Krakow and the City of Krakow Historical Museum, a Department of Jewish History and Culture was opened in the synagogue. It spreads knowledge about the life, culture and traditions of Jewish society, especially in Krakow, through temporary exhibitions, educational and publicity activities and making specialist literature available. The permanent exhibition in the Old Synagogue presents the most valuable items of the museum collection of Judaica connected with the Synagogue, festivals and private and family life of Krakow's Jews.
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The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013