EXPLORING LESSER POLAND: Cemeteries of Kraków

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Halloween and All Saints’ Day is coming, so you should know something about exploring our city through the cemetery theme. This experience could be very interesting because of the cultural meaning and historical aspects of the cemeteries.

What is all about?
Cemetery tourism became more and more popular through last 20-30 years, because of the few commons. First of all, many pop culture idols passed away, but the legend about them is still alive. Fans from all over the world visit theirs thumbs to commemorate a memory about them. Very popular are especially thumbs in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris: groups and individuals go to the Jim Morrison, Oskar Wild or Simone de Beauvoir graves. Very often they leaves on the grave not only candles or flowers, but also items associated with the deceased, like poetry books, sketches or paintings.
Second of all, people find out that cemetery could be a perfect place to discover the cultural aspects of some society, like customs, traditions, society hierarchy, architecture or some history. It is especially true in small villages with complicated history – beacuse of the politic or national reasons. For example, on polish area on the north named Żuławy tourists visit old Mennonites cemeteries.Mennonites was a religious group which came from Netherlands to Poland in the middle of XVI century and settled in Żuławy region. They lived is small villages and occupied mainly in agriculture. After 1945 and the end of the IInd World War, they had to leave the Żuławy. Now the cemeteries are some kind of the artefacts and documentation of the Mennonites existence in Poland and many academic research take place there.
Third of all, cemeteries is a places of reflection and thinking about the life and death problems. And maybe it associates mainly with goth or emo subcultures, but the fact is that people often choose the cemetery to not only commemorate memory about someone’s soul, but also to rethink something.

Kraków is a city with huge number of cemeteries. The most popular and one of the biggest in the city is the Rakowicki Cemetery located not far away from the city center. It is one of the oldest one, where the graves of the biggest Krakow’ citizens are. You can also find there separated section of Jagiellonian University professors greaves, uprising heroes and IInd World War soldiers graves.

Very popular destination is also the Old Jewish Cemetery: Remuh, which is a part of Jewish Monument Route in Kraków. It is one of the oldest jewish cemetery in the Europe, opened in 1535. During IInd World War, it was partly destroyed because of changed it into landfill. After the war the cemetery was renovated and becomes the place of visit by groups from Israel and others interested in history of cracovian Jews. On this area put the monument commemorates the history of Jews murdered during war.

If your stay in Kraków during All Saints Holidays, we recommend you to visit both.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: 1st of Novemvber is a Bank Holiday, that means all shops are closed. However, you can find opened restaurants, bars, and few museums.
If you want to visit cemeteries in Krakow please contact KrakowShuttle and we will arrange a tailor made tour for you.
If you are planning to visit Zakopane, remember that also there you can find one of the most famous cemetery in Poland – Na Peksowym Brzyzku. Join KrakowShuttle Zakopane Tour and ask your driver about it — he will stopnthere for you.