kamila

Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Beautiful Jewish cemetery in Kazimierz Dolny

I have a confesion to make: I have an extremely soft spot for Jewish cemeteries. Some people may think now I am crazy. What’s even worse I can’t even explain why these cemeteries are so interesting to me, it just is that way. I find them so beautiful and peaceful, each grave tells a story to me and every single cemetery is so unique (especially when keeping in mind the history of Jewish people in that area). Whenever I have a chance I visit a Jewish cemetery in every city there is one, I even did some small trips around only to visit cemeteries (like one to Karczew, a small town next to Warsaw, where I had to jump over the fence to visit the area).


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I remember very well the first Jewish cemetery I’ve visited and where my interest started. It was still in my teenage years in the nearby town from where I live, in Kazimierz Dolny. This charming little town with the bohemian atmosphere and over 60 art galleries is one of the main tourist destinations in Poland. Every weekend from April to October it’s overcrowded with people who visit the lovely market place, walk along the Vistula river or climb the Three Crosses Mountain for the best view. But not so many of these people know that not that far away from the center of the town the beautiful Jewish cemetery can be found.

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The cemetery was created in 1851 in the very beautiful location – in the forest on the side of the gorge (one of many in that area). Sadly the place has a very tragic history – in the time of World War II it was the place of executions of Jews and Christians, eventually during that time the cemetery was also destroyed. Yet a lot of the gravestones were saved and were in a pretty good condition – the local artist suggested to German soldiers, who were building the road using these gravestones, that it’d be faster to put them with letters facing the ground (instead of destroying beautiful superscription).

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In the 80s these gravestones were used for the “wailing wall” that is broken in the middle – it is the symbol of the tragic fate of Polish Jews. Many gravestones are in the ground in front of that monument but it’s worth going into the forest just behind it to find couple more really beautiful ones. They are scattered between the trees not very close from each other, all in a really good condition.

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Yesterday the weather was gorgeous and I was more than happy to finally go out and play with my new camera. Without much thinking I’ve decided to go to Kazimierz Dolny and take very first pictures at the Jewish cemetery. I just knew it’s gonna be even more beautiful with lots of snow around. And I was right. It was simply magical. When I was walking around I felt like I’m in some sacred place. Sun was shining between the trees, around me was a complete silence and I was carefuly strolling around, afraid this special feeling can go away anytime…

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This cemetery isn’t any new to me, I’ve visited it already couple of times, yet each time I manage to find something new there. New details on the gravestones, new angles to look at things… Even if know the area fairly well I still find interesting things there. And I’m sure I’ll find even more next time I visit the cemetery…

Do you find cemeteries interesting too?


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17 Mar '13

There are 2 Comments.

  1. Janina
    12:46 17/06/2015

    Hello, Kami, I have never been a blog fan of anyone before. But I am enjoying yours very much. Perhaps because I travel alone also. Thank you! This week I am in Warszawa and then go to Kaszmierz Dolny.

    • kami
      23:49 19/06/2015

      Thank you for your nice words Janina! How did you like Warszawa? That’s where I live! And Kazimierz Dolny (such a charming little town!) is very close from my hometown – you will pass it on the way for sure (Puławy). Hope you enjoy my region! Have a wonderful time there!

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