The Jewish people settled in Kazimierz - chartered in 1335 - only in the 15th century. At that time an edict forced the Jews to leave Cracow where they had been living since the 13th century. Due to the fact that the Jews were not that much persecuted in Poland, as it was the case in western Europe, more and more came to Kazimierz. They were juridically autonomous and had their own community (Kahal). Before World War II about 65 thousand Polish people of Jewish origin lived in Kazimierz representing 25% of the Cracow population.
During German Occupation Jewish life in Kazimierz was annihilated by the Nazis (Cracow Ghetto 1941-1943). Today the Jewish community of Cracow counts only 200 members. There is one synagogue which is permanently used for religious purposes - the Remuh Synagogue with its Old Cementary.
The Remuh Synagogue was founded in 16th century for the famous Jewish philosopher Rabbi Remuh. The Old Cementary behind it dates from the same time and is one of the best examples of Jewish renaissance cementaries in Europe. In the Jewish Quarter there are other synagogues: e.g. the splendidly decorated Tempel Synagogue of the reformed Jewish Community.
In the last years the Jewish Quarter has become a very popular Cracow district. It has its own alternative air: Jewish restaurants offering Jewish food and evenings of Klezmer Music, the Jewish festival where people from all over the world danse together in Szeroka Street. There are also many small shops, art galleries, pubs, cafés and garden cafés around the "Nowy Plac".1-2-3-1