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In 1495, King Jan I Olbracht transferred Krakow Jews to the nearby royal city of Kazimierz, which gave rise to its once bustling Jewish quarter and a major European center of the Diaspora for the next three centuries. With time it turned into virtually separate and self-governed 34-acre Jewish Town,  a model of every East European shtetl, within the limits of the gentile city of Kazimierz. As refugees from all over Europe kept coming to find the safe haven here, its population reached 4,500 by 1630.
Jewish Quarter
Strolling old narrow streets of the eastern half of Krakow’s Kazimierz district one still finds a unique atmosphere of the Jewish past of this area. To it attest also the exhibits of the Museum of Judaism at 24 Szeroka Street, in the building of the Old Synagogue, dating back to the 15’th century and rebuilt to Renaissance tastes in the 1560’s.  There are a number of interesting synagogues to visit in Krakow (please see:  “Synagogues in Krakow”), among them the Remuh Synagogue adjoining the Remuh Cemetery.  It was named by the famous 16’th century rabbi and religious writer Moses Isserles. Even today pious Jews keep coming to pray at his grave and the graves of their other great men who were buried here. The cemetery was used from 1551 to 1800. Its hundreds old tombstones, dating mostly from the Renaissance, as well as its history and surroundings make the Remuh Cemetery one of Europe's most interesting.
 

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