Krakow Jewish Heritage 3 day itinerary
Day 1. Arrival, transfer to hotel.
Meet your guide for Krakow tour.
Start with Kazimierz – historical center of Cracow’s Jewish religious and social life, was incorporated into Cracow in the 18th century. The tour of this district takes you to the most important monuments in this area. First you see the sites, which Steven Spielberg used for his location shots of the Oscar winning “Schindler’s List”. Then you visit the Old Synagogue, now the Judaic Department of the Historical Museum of the City Cracow, the Remuh Synagogue and Remuh Cemetery – the most precious monuments of the Jewish culture in Cracow. Meet with the representative of the Jewish Community in Krakow to talk about past and present Jewish life at The Kazimierz.
Visit the Museum at the former Oscar Schindler’s Factory. The main exhibition “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation, 1939-1945” shows the dramatic choice that people made. The exhibition showcase life during the war for Poles and Jews, concentrating at least some of its narrative on the disruption of Polish-Jewish relations against the backdrop of Nazi brutality. The atmosphere of the era is evoked by recreations of typical Cracovian interiors and street scenes.
The tour finished in Plaszow, which was originally designed to be a work camp. However, like many other Nazi camps, prisoners starved or were worked to death, or summarily shot for no reason. In 1945 Germans began the systematic evacuation sending many hundreds of prisoners to Auschwitz, Mauthausen and Flossenburg. You will see the sign at the main entrance to the Plaszow camp memorial area and Plaszow Memorial.
Evening Klezmer concert.
Day 2. A guided sightseeing tour of the ancient capital of Poland, a royal city on the Vistula lying at the foot of Wawel – a limestone hill on whose peak rise a splendid royal palace and the cathedral church of St. Waclaw and bishop Stanislaus. You will start with the Royal Castle and Cathedral on the Wawel Hill which were remodeled according to the new Renaissance taste in the beginning of the 16th century. It is the place where Polish kings were crowned and buried here. Afterwards, drive to the Old Town with the Main Market Square with magnificent houses and palaces. In the middle of the square is the Cloth Hall built before 1349, but altered in 16th century with many shopping stalls inside.
Afternoon visit to Wieliczka Salt Mine, famous for one of the oldest salt mines in Europe, which has been in operation for at least 700 years. The oldest part of the mine is opened to the public as a museum. Our route in the mine leads you through galleries, chambers and chapels on three levels. All altarpieces, figures and monuments there are carved is salt. The highlight is the richly ornamented Chapel of St. Kinga. The Wieliczka Salt Mine was placed in 1978 on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
Day 3. After breakfast drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Auschwitz considered as the biggest Nazi’s concentration camp. It was established on 14th June 1940 and liberated in January 1945. About 1.5 million people of 28 nationalities lost their lives here, mostly Jews. During the camp evacuation in January 1945 thousand of inmates died in so-called death march. When the camp was liberated there were about 7 000 prisoners, all in terrible conditions. After the retreating only part of the camp was destroyed by Germans. What has remained became the symbol of homicide. Today the site is the museum and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.