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cemetery: Powązki, Warszawa
photography: Jacek Michiej
Wrocław

Stary Cmentarz Żydowski we Wrocławiu

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The Old Jewish Cemetery in Wroclaw - the Jewish cemetery at Ślężna Street in Wrocław is now the Museum of Cemetery Art, which is a branch of the City Museum of Wrocław. Its total area is 4.6 ha, there are about 12,000 tombstones Burchard reports that about 6,000 have been preserved . There are graves of Jews from distant parts, including from Gdansk, Warsaw, Bonn, Hamburg or Boston. The necropolis is a particularly important place for historians, as a place of burial of many famous people not only from Wrocław, but also from Europe. The cemetery clearly differs from the Eastern European cemeteries. It is a place of various forms of grave art, rich symbolism, unusual ornamentation of matzevot and buildings. Some of them are modeled on the Moorish or Egyptian style. The cemetery can be visited daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in winter (XI-III); 09:00 - 18:00 in summer (IV - X); Free admission on Thursdays. [source: Wikipedia, 254653]
confessionJudaism
type of the cemeteryreligious
state of the cemeteryclosed, shared as a museum
[source: Wikipedia, 254653]
Poland
the area where services are available
area where services are not available
History
The beginnings of the history of the cemetery date back to 1856. At that time, in order to create a new burial site, the Wrocław Jewish commune started to acquire plots in the village of Gabitz (Gajowice) at Lohestrasse (now Ślężna Street). The purchased area was surrounded by a wall, orderly, then alleys were marked out. Its area was then around 3 ha. A few years later this area was enlarged. Its total area has been 4.6 ha since then. At the initial stage of the existence of the cemetery, a pre-burial house and an apartment of a cemetery inspector were erected. However, these buildings, mainly due to the poor condition and the possibility of accommodating a small number of people, were replaced in 1912 with new ones. The authors of the project were brothers: Paul and Richard Ehrlich. At that time, a two-story house of the cemetery's management was erected, in which there were the inspector's and gravedigger's flats, an office and florist's, as well as a chapel and a lantern, which were erected at the entrance gate to the necropolis. The first official burial took place on November 17, 1856. It was the funeral of the merchant - Lobel Stern. The cemetery land was then blessed by Rabbi Abraham Geiger. However, you can find here tombstones much older, because they come from Jewish cemeteries existing in the Middle Ages. Tombstones were discovered at the turn of previous centuries in various places of the city and then transferred to the central lapidarium. The oldest of them has a date engraved on August 4, 1203, and was erected for Dawid, a cantor with a nice voice. With the advent of World War II, funerals in the cemetery began to slow down, and in 1943 it was completely closed. On some matzevot there are traces of crutches, it is related to the fact that the cemetery was an area of armed activities during the fights for the city in 1945. The necropolis on May 24, 1975 was entered in the register of monuments. Soon after that, work began on the renovation of the surrounding wall, maintenance of tombstones and alleys. Since 1988, we can visit this place as a Museum of Cemetery Architecture. Currently, it is the Museum of Cemetery Art and is a branch of the City Museum of Wroclaw. [source: Wikipedia, 254653]
Position
The cemetery is located in the corner of Ślężna and Sztabowa Streets, on the Powstańców Śląskich housing estate. It is surrounded by a high white wall. The entrance to the cemetery is from the side of Zaulek Ferdynand Lassalle. Access to the cemetery is provided by the tram line no. 9, - bus stop: Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny and bus lines 133 and 134 - stop: Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny. [source: Wikipedia, 254653]
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