The limestone company 'Liban and Ehrenpreis,' run by two well-known Jewish industrial families from Podgórze, established a quarry here in 1873. By the end of the 19th century a complex of buildings was established within the quarry and a railway line laid as the families enjoyed an excellent reputation locally and abroad. However, during Nazi occupation, Liban was set-up as a cruel penal camp where 800 young Poles were kept prisoner from 1942 to 1944 performing forced labour. A small, discreet and currently inaccessible memorial for 21 inmates executed during the liquidation of the camp lies beyond the fence towards the ul. Za Torem end of the site.
In 1993 Steven Spielberg used Liban as the set of all the scenes from Schindler's List that take place in the Płaszów concentration camp. Not wanting to use the nearby site of the camp itself out of respect, it must have taken little imagination on his part to settle upon Liban. During filming 34 barracks and watchtowers were set-up around the quarry, and though most of the set was subsequently removed, some traces remain confusingly mixed with the genuine historical leftovers from the war, making it unclear just how uncomfortable you should feel as you walk amongst the rusty machinery and many gallows-like fence posts - some still strung with barbed wire. Certainly, the most disturbing site is the central pathway paved with Jewish headstones, which we can put you at ease by assuring you is not genuine. An incredibly evocative, yet peaceful and beautiful site, Liban allows you to explore Kraków's World War II history on your own terms, interpreting it as you like without the hand-holding of history books or tourist bureaus. Enter the quarry at your own risk by following a trail from behind Krakus Mound toward Podgórze Cemetery, along the rim of and then down into the quarry. Enjoy the wild nature of this site while you can because from the middle of 2020 there are plans to begin developing it into a recreational park to open at the end of 2021.