Jewish Cemetery

The necropolis is one of the largest, oldest (established in the 16th c., the first written records date to 1581) and best preserved cemeteries in southern Poland. It occupies an area of 3,27 ha, and comprises around 4 000 tombstones, of which the oldest date back to the 17th c. Most of the gravestones are greatly ornamented and rich in symbols, some of them preserved traces of polychromy and have Hebrew, Polish and German inscriptions. It was, between June 1942 and September 1943, a place of mass murder of the ghetto Jews. After the war, in 1946, Jewish sculptor David Beker placed a monument – broken column of the New Synagogue (the Jubilee Synagogue), in the place of the victims’ mass grave. Among the tombs there are preserved graves of rabbis, judges, artists, Zionists and there is also a quarter of Jewish soldiers from the Austrian army, who died in the nearby hospital during the WW I. The original iron cemetery gate from the pre-war period was donated to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. The cemetery is an open necropolis managed by the Jewish Religious Community in Kraków.