Old Synagogue in Krakow

 

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Old Synagogue is not active today but it is the oldest still standing synagogue in Poland, built in the beginning of the 15th century in Gothic style. After destruction by fire in 1557 it was rebuilt by Italian architect Matteo Gucci in the Renaissance style.


Its interior was ruined by Nazis who used synagogue as a warehouse during World War 2. Restoration was completed in 1959 and today's Old Synagogue is a branch of the Historical Museum showing everyday life in the Jewish ghetto before the Holocaust. In the Hall of Prayer there is a reconstructed bema and Ark of the Covenant. Amongst some of the surviving original features of the synagogue are: Aron Kodesh, fragments of rediscovered murals and a collection box. The exhibitions in Historical Museum show some finely crafted artifacts used in Jewish rituals and documents relating to the history of Jews in Krakow.



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