When returning to Kraków in July 2017, I attended a wedding, met friends and visited “old” and “new” places. Let me start with Kazimierz.
A half hour boat ride on the Wisla
In winter I saw many wooden boats parked along the shore of Zwierzyniec. Now I can see, what they are for. They are waiting at the peer under the Wawel, until they have 12 passengers. Then they start for a half hour ride on the Wisla. Great, I start the day with a boat ride.
I enter the boat called Kościuszko – after the man that fought for freedom of Poland around 1800 and is now buried on a hill above Kraków. Two friendly ladies (probably my age) offer mint toffees to me.
Another boat is called “Lajkonik”. Yes, the horse riding men making fun of the Mongolians vanquished in the 13th century are omnipresent in Kraków.
From the boat ride, I take back this great view of the Wawel castle.
After my boat ride I follow the Wislaw and enter Kazimierz from the south.
The church of Corpus Dei or Kościól Bozego Ciala in Kazimierz
Often I have walked by the church of Corpus Dei in Kazimierz. Now I enter it. The church is an example of brick gothics, built in the 14th century. I like the cross hanging in the nave.
The high synagogue in Kazimierz (Synagoga Wysoka)
At Józefa street I find a cosy courtyard, where I eat a zurek (sour soup). Not far from here is the high synagogue or Synagoga Wysoka that I had never taken notice of before. The synagogue is called “high”, because the praying hall is on the first floor or “high” up. This synagogue has been built in the 16th century.
In the praying hall some of the former wall decoration is left.
There is an exhibition of photos that show the normal Jewish life in Kazimierz before World War II. I am suffering – why has all this happened?
The museum of Ethnographics in the townhall of Kazimierz
It is hot today. I look for a chilly place and escape into the Ethnographics museum that is located in the former townhall of Kazimierz. The museum has only few English explanations, but the exhibits are pretty straightforward – houses, barns and mills as well as photos and requisites that illustrate the life from craddle to grave in the 19th century. I understand that family and village life was important for the Polish that struggled to preserve their culture and language, while being ruled by Russia, Germany and Austria in the 18th and 19th century.
The top floor shows artifacts like this wonderfully carved Man of Sorrow from the 17th century.
I finish off the day in my favorite tea house of Kazimierz, the Czajownia. Then I meet Radek for dinner. We eat in the restaurant Trezo, where I have a delicious pike perch with a Riesling from Poland. Yes, Poland grows wine as well.