Tarnow

Tarnów Jewish Cemetery

A 10-minute walk north of the Old Town, the Jewish Cemetery is a haunting, albeit necessary part of any visit to Tarnów. Established in the late 16th century and 3.2 hectares, Tarnów's Jewish Cemetery is one of the oldest and largest in Poland, with about 6000 thousand gravestones - many of them still rich in ornamentation. Desecrated by the Nazis, who used it as a mass execution site for Jews from the Tarnów Ghetto, the cemetery was completely devastated and overgrown after WWII and all through the communist era. Now on the National Monuments List, millions of złoty have been invested in conservation works in recent years, including the restoration of tombstones belonging to notable Tarnovians, a virtual database and even a mobile application for visitors (in English and Polish; iOS/Android). Near the entrance is a monument dedicated to the Jews of Tarnów, built in 1946 from broken tombstones and a column from the city’s destroyed synagogue. The cemetery’s original gates were donated to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC in 1991, and their replacements are kept firmly locked; however it is possible to borrow a key by leaving a 30zł deposit at the Tourist Information Centre at Rynek 7.

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