Tag Archives: Cracow


Jaws was Polish

Fascinating fact about Poland # 35


A film poster advertising the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, which featured the character Jaws.

In Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel THE SPY WHO LOVED ME the ‘real’ name of the character JAWS is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki. He was born in Poland, the product of a union between the strong man of a travelling circus and the Chief Wardress at the Women’s Prison in Krakow!

Jews in Poland

Jews in Poland

A picture postcard posted from Krakow to Dresden in 1907.

A picture postcard of a group of Jews in Krakow at the beginning of the 20th century.

Click on image above to view the picture in a larger size. This is an absolutely splendid image.

synagoge polen

The synagogue in Bielitz Biala (Bielsko-Biała), Poland, c.1910.

Selected related content on Polish Poland:

The synagogue in Bielsko-Biala.

The synagogue in Lodz.

The synagogue in Warsaw.

Brama Florianska in Krakow

St. Florian's Gate Brama Florianska

An old photograph of St. Florian’s Gate (Brama Florianska) in Krakow, Poland, c.1974.

St. Florian’s Gate (Brama Florianska) is a 14th-century gate in Krakow, Poland. The gate, a popular spot for tourists visiting the city, is part of what remains of the city’s fortifications. It was built about 1300 and a rectangular Gothic tower stands above the gate. This tower is more than 30 metres high.

See another picture of St. Florian’s Gate during the German occupation of Krakow.

St. Florian’s Gate in Krakow

St. Florian's Gate city wall krakow

A postcard sent to Breslau during the German occupation of Krakow in 1942.

A photograph showing a Nazi German flag flying from a building close to St. Florian’s Gate, the main gate of the old defensive city wall, in Krakow. The city was then part of the General Government, a separate administrative region of the Third Reich. The General Government was headed by Hans Frank who was based in the city’s Wawel Castle. Germany planned turning Kraków into a completely German city after the removal of all Jews and Poles. Locations and street names were renamed (Brama Florianska becoming Floriantor) and propaganda attempted to portray it as a historically German city.

St. Florian’s Gate was the main entrance into Krakow in the past, with most royal processions and coronations entering the city through the gate, and going onto the Main Square and Wawel Castle.

More details on the Brama Florianska (St. Florian’s Gate) itself.

Wieliczka Salt Mines

Three old images of miners working down in the Wieliczka Salt Mines of Poland.

Wieliczka salt mine

Miners and a horse pulling a railway wagon deep underground in the Wieliczka salt mines, Poland, c.1910.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #1 – the mines house a sanatorium, which, due to the salty atmosphere, some believe helps with everything from asthma to various allergies.

Wieliczka Salt Mines

Salt miners having a rest and tea stop in the Wieliczka Salt Mines sometime around 1920.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #2 – during the Second World War the occupying Germans used the mines for various secret war-related industries.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Poland

Workers with wheelbarrows and a heavy drill down in the Wieliczka Salt Mines of southern Poland, c.1935.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #3 – some parts of the mine reach a depth of more than 300 metres.

Wieliczka Salt Mines (Kopalnia soli Wieliczka) are located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, not far from Kraków. The mines which originate in the 13th century produced table salt and are one of the world’s longest-working salt mines. The mines are no longer worked commercially but are now a major tourist attraction, with more than one million people visiting the salt mines each year. The mine includes many statues carved out of the rock salt by the miners, three fantastically ornate chapels and an entire cathedral. Since 1978 the mines have been included in the UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites.

The Old Synagogue Krakow

old synagogue krakow

A photograph of Orthodox Jews outside the ‘Old’ Synagogue in Krakow, Poland, c.1911.

Three archive images of the old Synagogue (Stara Synagoga) in the Kazimierz district of Krakow, Małopolskie, Poland.

synagog krakow

Another vintage photograph of what is known as the Old Synagogue in Poland.

The Old Synagogue in what was at the centre of the Jewish quarter of Krakow was built in 1570 on the site of an even older synagogue. Making this synagogue the oldest synagogue still in existence within the borders of Poland.

Old Synagogue Cracow / Krakow, Poland

The Old Synagogue in Cracow / Krakow, Poland, c.1918.

Some things you may not know about the Old Synagogue and synagogs in Krakow:
- The design of the Old Synagogue is of the type known as a Polish Fortress synagogue.
- In 1775 Tadeusz Kosciuszko gave a speech to the Jewish community in this synagogue encouraging them to join in the fight for the freedom of Poland.
- This fine synagogue was extensively damaged by the Germans during the Second World War, and, after renovation in the 1950s, has since 1961 served as a Jewish museum, known as the ‘Museum of the History and Culture of the Jews’.
- Before World War Two there were around one hundred synagogues within the city of Krakow serving a Jewish community of approximately 70,000.
- The Old Synagogue is just one of several surviving synagogues in Krakow. Others include: the Izaak Jakubowicz Synagogue, Tempel Synagogue, Wolf Popper Synagogue, High Synagogue. There are currently two active synagogues in present-day Krakow: Remuh Synagogue and Kupa Synagogue.

Use the interactive map below to explore the various sights around the Kazimierz area and wider Krakow.

Related content on Polish Poland:
- The synagogue in Wollstein / Wolsztyn.
- An index page of various synagogues in Poland.