Krakow

I’m going to keep this fairly short in the interests of catching up with our actual travel.

Kraków was very hot, reach 32 degrees on our first day so luckily we were mostly inside. We went to visit the former Deutsche Email Werke (which means enamel, no email) better known as the Schindler factory. This was another incredible interactive museum covering the history of the Jews in Kraków, from the 12th century to the end of the war.

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Schindler factory, metal press

It seems clear that the most frequent opponent of Jews (though not always) was the church, the secular authorities more often protecting them. The golden age for Polish Jews was the period between the enlightenment and the rise of romantic nationalism, roughly the seventeenth to mid nineteenth centuries. Even more apparent is that the story is always complicated.

In the evening, and now pleasantly warm, we meet with our Servas hosts and have some Zapiekanki, which I call “Polish pizza”. I thought it would be a snack, but they are huge.

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Me attacking Zapiekanki

Next day we do general sightseeing, Wavel castle, with a visit to the only Leonardo in Poland,

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Wavel castle, inside rampart

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Lady with an Ermine(It’s only a copy)

the city square, largest in Europe, (though it has a large market hall and tower in the middle)

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and away from the main tourist route, Jagellion University, a lovely courtyard with the rooms where Copernicus worked.

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At the city gate there are some men playing music in traditional costumes. Plus Eva.

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Traditional Musicians

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A quiet spot in Kraków

The old Jewish quarter of Krakow is Kasimierz, named after the king who granted land of Jewish settlement. There are many synagogues, but only one still in use, though there is a Jewish community centre.

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Remuh synagogue

Next we are off to Prague.

 

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