Getting There by BA
Warsaw Old Town
|Historic Centre of Warsaw|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1980 (4th Session)|
The Warsaw Old Town (Polish: Stare Miasto, and collectively with the New Town, known colloquially as: Starówka) is the oldest part of the capital city. It is bounded by the Wybrzeże Gdańskie, along with the bank of Vistula river,Grodzka, Mostowa and Podwale Streets. It is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Warsaw.
The heart of the area is the Old Town Market Place, rich in restaurants, cafés and shops. Surrounding streets feature medieval architecture such as the city walls, the Barbican and St. John’s Cathedral.
Jewish Historical Institute
The Jewish Historical Institute was created in 1947 as a continuation of the Central Jewish Historical Commission, founded in 1944. The Jewish Historical Institute Association is the corporate body responsible for the building and the Institute’s holdings. The Institute falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In 2009 it was named after Emanuel Ringelblum. The institute is a repository of documentary materials relating to the Jewish historical presence in Poland. It is also a centre for academic research, study and the dissemination of knowledge about the history and culture of Polish Jewry.
The most valuable part of the collection is the Warsaw Ghetto Archive, known as the Ringelblum Archive (collected by the Oyneg Shabbos). It contains about 6000 documents (about 30 000 individual pieces of paper).
Other important collections concerning World War II include testimonies (mainly of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust), memoirs and diaries, documentation of the Joint and Jewish Self-Help (welfare organizations active in Poland under the occupation), and documents from the Jewish Councils (Judenräte)
The section on the documentation of Jewish historical sites holds about 40 thousand photographs concerning Jewish life and culture in Poland.
The Institute has published a series of documents from the Ringelblum Archive, as well as numerous wartime memoirs and diaries.
In 2011, Paweł Śpiewak, a Professor of Sociology at Warsaw University and former politician, was nominated as the Director of the Jewish Historical Institute by Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Active Synagogue|
|Leadership||Rabbi Michael Schudrich|
|Construction cost||250.000 rubles|
The Nożyk Synagogue (Polish: Synagoga Nożyków) is the only surviving prewar Jewish house of prayer in Warsaw, Poland. It was built in 1898-1902 and was restored after World War II. It is still operational and currently houses the Warsaw Jewish Commune, as well as other Jewish organizations.
Before World War II the Jewish community of Warsaw, one of the largest Jewish communities in the world at that time, had over 400 houses of prayer at its disposal. However, at the end of 19th century only two of them were separate structures, while the rest were smaller chapels attached to schools, hospitals or private homes. The earliest Round Synagogue in the borough of Praga served the local community since 1839, while the Great Synagogue (erected in 1878) was built for the reformed community. Soon afterwards a need arose to build a temple also for the orthodox Jewry. Between 1898 and 1902 Zalman Nożyk, a renowned Warsaw merchant, and his wife Ryfka financed such temple at Twarda street, next to the neighbourhood of Grzybów and Plac Grzybowski. The building was designed by a famous Warsaw architect, Karol Kozłowski, author of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Hall. The façade is neo-romanticist, with notable neo-Byzantine elements. The building itself is rectangular, with the internal chamber divided into three aisles.
The synagogue was officially opened to the public on May 26, 1902. In 1914 the founders donated it to the Warsaw Jewish Commune, in exchange for yearly prayers in their intention. In 1923 the building was refurbished by Maurycy Grodzieński, who also designed a semi-circular choir that was attached to the eastern wall of the temple. In September 1939 the synagogue was damaged during an air raid. During World War II the area was part of the Small Ghetto and shared its fate during the Ghetto Uprising and then the liquidation of the Jewish community of Warsaw by the Nazis. After 1941 the Germans used the building as stables and a depot. After the war the demolished building was partially restored and returned to the Warsaw Jewish Commune, but the reconstruction did not start. It was completely rebuilt between 1977 and 1983 (officially opened April 18, 1983). It was also then that a new wing was added to the eastern wall, currently housing the seat of the commune, as well as several other Jewish organizations.
Lag Ba’omer at the community centre
With Wojciech Konończuk
The Night lights in the Old Town