Nowy Square

Plac Nowy, Kraków

From Szeroka street, you can follow ul. Ciemna to plac Nowy, i.e. “New Square”, which is, however, more popularly known as Żydowski (Jewish). Once past the cemetery, you walk by the Isaac Synagogue (ul. Jakuba 25): it is not surprising if you find it quite impressive, as this foundation of the royal banker Isaac (Ayzik) Yekeles from the 1630s is Kazimierz’s largest synagogue. The war destroyed nearly all its furnishing, and an exhibition on the wartime history of Kazimierz is currently displayed within. There are two other synagogues standing close to the Jewish Square: the first is Kupa at ul. Warszauera 8, built from the funds of the community in the 17th century, which has retained historic polychrome paintings. In turn the remarkable Progressive Synagogue (Tempel) at ul. Miodowa 26 was built in the mid-19th century in the neo-Romanesque style, with Moorish painted and gilded decorations inside.

The area occupied by the Nowy or Żydowski Square was part of the Jewish city from the late 16th to the mid-19th century. The bedraggled and chaotically developed complex of little alleys and corners was put into order, and the newly laid out square received the name New. Most of the current developments surrounding it were built at the close of the 19th and turn of the 20th centuries. The most characteristic element of the square is the so-called Okrąglak, built in 1899–1900 as a roofed market hall. A ritual slaughter house for poultry operated within it from 1927 to the Second World War. After the war, typical petty traders returned to the square.

In the 1990s, the square began to change its face altogether, not unlike the entire district. The ground floors were turned into many cosy cafés and bars, which in a way rely on the atmosphere of bygone Kazimierz. A former house of prayer was renovated by its south-western corner and earmarked for the needs of the Centre for Jewish Culture. On Saturdays there is a flea market in the square, and on Sundays it is occupied by sellers of vintage and second-hand clothing.

Date: 2017-05-29 Show ticket
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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