Kazimierz is a "new town", south of the Wawel, in a bend in the Vistula. Its founder, Casimir the Great, probably had no idea how famous Stephen Spielberg was going to make it.
This is the main square, just outside the Ghetto, and site of the Ethnographic museum. It is the most interesting museum bar none of Cracow, and has several peasant houses inside it, as well as the weirdest collection of bee-hives (some people wouldn´t believe that they were bee-hives, until they were shown the photos of traditional honey-collection clothing). Bee-hives in crosses 2,5m high, statues of bears (if they were life-size, it was the mother of all bears) …
St Katherine´s church (Greyfriars). Apparently it has been very badly damaged over the years – the Austrians used it as a magazine; and it was closed when we walked by.
The Jewish market – there is a covered market on the inside, where the Jewish slaughterhouse used to be – as well as little stalls facing outwards onto the square. Apparently, this is one of the bits of Cracow that haven´t been touched for 50 years, but it looks a lot cleaner than some of the other bits that "haven´t been touched, guv!".
"In need of some decorative attention"…. People still live in these houses, by the way. This old synagogue has been converted into a museum:
Just north of this sidestreet is the Broad Street – which is also quite a long one!
The left hand side shows how derelict the Ghetto had become, the right hand side how it is being tarted up:
The tourism industry here has a rather specific focus.
We visited one synagogue – the Izaak, which had been gutted; the ceiling, by Giovanni Falcone, was "in restauro", but the building had obviously been left as a shell.
Email Mike Murphy