Inside the Old Synagogue. The Old Synagogue is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the Kazimierz district of Kraków, Poland. It is the oldest synagogue building still standing in Poland, and one of the most precious landmarks of Jewish architecture in Europe.In 1794 General Tadeusz Kościuszko spoke from the synagogue to gain the Jewish support in the struggle for Polish independence. A plaque in the entrance hall commemorates this event: “The Jews proved to the world that whenever humanity can gain, they would not spare themselves.” – General Tadeusz Kosciuszko The synagogue was completely devastated and ransacked by the Germans during World War II. Its artwork and Jewish relics, looted.During the occupation, the synagogue was used as a magazine. In 1943, 30 Polish hostages were executed at its wall. The Old Synagogue was renovated from 1956 to 1959 and currently operates as a museum. It is a Division of the Historical Museum of Kraków, with particular focus on Kraków’s Jews. The exhibits are divided into themes dealing with birth, prayer rituals, diet, divorce and death. The beautiful women’s prayer room, which dates from the 17th century, is often used to hold temporary exhibitions.
The Old Synagogue.