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Obj. ID: 14235
Jewish Architecture
  Remu Synagogue in Kraków, Poland

© Vladimir Levin, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 2013


Description (from the Virtual Stetl site):

The Remu Synagogue is located in the Kazimierz district of Kraków, at 40 Szeroka Street, in the inner corner of the Jewish cemetery (registered property no. 217, address before 1939 also 40 Szeroka Street). It is an orthodox synagogue, one of the two synagogues that operate in the city and the only one in which services are held on a regular basis. To the south the building borders on a garden and the backyards of houses on Ciemna Street, and to the north to the backyards of houses on Miodowa Street. The entrance is at 40 Szeroka Street. The courtyard and the cemetery are surrounded by plastered walls of different heights which are partially roofed and tiled. Some parts of the walls were destroyed during World War II. Walls, which had previously been part of  the already demolished houses, were included in the walls at the sides of the courtyard.

The masonry building was done in the Renaissance style. On the interior, in its rectangular vestibule are shelves for prayer books and other types of books, and there is a built-in Yorzeit plaque on the northern wall which commemorates the deaths of the congregation’s members from the 1930s to the 1990s. Another plaque is placed on the south wall of the main prayer hall. These plaques are divided into tens or hundreds of sections which include personal details and times of death. There is a light bulb installed by each of the inscriptions which is lit on the anniversary of the death of an individual person. The entrance to the main prayer hall leads through a sandstone portal with a wrought iron door. On the side is an original stone money collection box from the second half of the 16th century with a Hebrew inscription reading: “gold, silver, copper” calling for contributions and alms and another inscription, which in fact is an invocation honoring the memory of the Rema and which reads “An offering for the peace of the soul of the Rema of blessed memory.”

In the rectangular one-nave barrel-vaulted main prayer hall there is both original and partly reconstructed liturgical equipment. The original Aron ha-Kodesh representing the late Renaissance style made in the second half of the 16th century is placed on the east wall. The niche is closed with an Art Nouveau open-work door and is screened with a parokhet adorned with a valance. The frame around the Aron ha-Kodesh has been made of sandstone and has double pilasters on both sides. The pilasters’ capitals showing plant decorations support full rustic work with a frieze filled with Hebrew inscriptions which read “Look down from Your holy dwelling, from the heavens, and bless Your people Israel” (Deut.26:15) and “Kings reign with me” (Prov. 8:15). The cantor’s pulpit which stood by the Aron ha-Kodesh, the stairs and a ner tamid on the left side were all reconstructed after World War II.

To the right of the Aron ha-Kodesh is a special chair that is never occupied. As the legend has it, it was Rabbi Remuh’s place of prayer and remains free as a sign of respect. Above the chair is a plaque, built-in and engraved in stone, reading “The tradition says that the Remuh, the righteous of blessed memory, stood in this place to pray and confess before the Holy One, blessed be He”

25 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Remu Synagogue in Kraków | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1557
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
1829
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Stone
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Yes
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Synagogue
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
A (Good)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person

R. Moses Isserles (Rema)

Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration

Renaissance Torah ark. Decoration of the bimah ballustrade.

Urban significance
Part of Jewish quarter
Significance Rating
4 (International)
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Bergman, Eleonora and Jan Jagelski, Zachowane synagogi i domy modlitwy w Polsce: Katalog. (Warsaw, 1996), p. 63 with ill.; Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka, Bramy Nieba: Bóżnice murowane na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej (Warsaw, 1999), pp. 116-9 with ills. and ills. 64-5; Izabella Rejduch-Samkowa & Jan Samek (eds.), Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, tom IV: Miasto Kraków, część VI: Kazimierz i Stradom - Judaica: Bóżnice, budowle publiczne i cmentarze (Warszawa, 1995), pp. 9-13, ills 13, 15, 36-42, 96, 101, 103, 108, 110-112, 114-115, 117, 124-125, 137-138, 140-143; Eugeniusz Duda, Krakowskie judiaca (Warszawa, 1991), pp. 79-85 with ills.; http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/article/krakow/11,synagogues-prayer-houses-and-others/3729,remuh-synagogue-in-krakow-40-szeroka-street-/

Rodov, Ilia, The Torah Ark in Renaissance Poland: A Jewish Revival of Classical Antiquity (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013)
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.