Architecture, Art, Interior (And Some Horses)
Part of the Tour Group
During our trip to Kraków we stood in a sensational building, a fortress from the 19th century, the Hostel Luneta Warszawska. It is situated slightly outside the old city center (four stations by tram and about eight to Kazimierz) and has a wonderful terrace and a huge kitchen. Downers: The bathroom was always flooded and the bunkbeds squeaked like hell.
While on the outside traffic is hurrying by, the silence on the huge area of the New Jewish cemetery is peaceful and unhasty. Birds are singing and while walking through the bigger and smaller paths between the tombstones I want to make myself as small and quiet as possible as if I would be here only in my thoughts.
It’s because of that that I like to visit cemeteries, and I have seen many, above all in Sicily, France and Germany but never before I have been to a jewish cemetery. I think of the many people during many different times buried here and some of the tombstone inscriptions tell stories of the lives they led before finding peace here. The German word for cemetery is Friedhof, which means yard of peace which I think is a very adequate denomination.
During WW2 the Nazi commandant Amon Göth – well known as the sadistic leader from Schindler’s List – took gravestones from this cemetery as pavement for the supply road for Płaszów concentration camp. After the war a lot of them have been recovered and brought back to the cemetery.
The area is very big – 4,5 hectares – and sometimes I start to follow a path which ends in a cul-de-sac and I have to return.
The special thing on this cemetery – maybe on all jewish cemeteries, I don’t know – is that the area is more of a wild landscape than an arranged yard. At least half of the area is completely overgrown and it seams like nature takes back what belongs to her. Wilderness of peace would be the adequate word.
We went there on a Saturday in August. When we hit the road to do the 100km from Kraków it started to rain heavily and the photographer in me thought – all while thinking this thought is completely inappropriate – that this would be the adequate weather to take some classical shots from this dark […]