Once the capital of Poland, Krakow may be best known for its castle and charming old town. But those who want a deeper introduction to Polish history can head to the city’s plethora of interesting, informative museums. Here are a few top picks.
Ghetto Heroes Square (Plac Bohaterów Getta)
Plac Bohaterow Getta, Krakow, Poland
Plac Zgody has since been renamed Ghetto Heroes Square (Plac Bohaterów Getta) in honor of the Jewish deportees. Designed by local architects Piotr Lewicki and Kazimierz Łatak, the memorial comprises 70 empty chairs placed at regular intervals throughout the open space—a chilling reminder of the furniture, luggage, and other personal belongings that remained in the square after the deportations and razing of the ghetto in 1942 and 1943.
Ghetto Heroes Square is a common stop on sightseeing tours of Krakow, including those focused on the history of the city under Nazi occupation.
Things to Know Before You Go
Ghetto Heroes Square is accessible to wheelchairs.
In the south of the square at Lwowska Street, look for a fragment of the ghetto wall with a commemorative plaque.
How to Get There
Easy to get to from Krakow’s major sights and hotels, Ghetto Heroes Square is about a 25-minute walk or 10-minute drive south of the city’s main square. Alternatively, take tram 8 or 13 from Plac Wszystkich Świętych directly to Ghetto Heroes Square.
When to Get There
You can visit the square at any time of day, year-round. Every year on the Sunday following March 14 (the date of the clearing of the ghetto), a remembrance parade honoring the victims sets off from Ghetto Heroes Square to the Holocaust monument on the site of the former Płaszów camp.
German industrialist Oskar Schindler is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust. Around a 10-minute walk from Ghetto Heroes Square, Schindler’s former enamel factory houses a permanent exhibition entitled Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945. Using archival documents, photos, radio and film recordings, artifacts, and multimedia installations, the collection covers everyday life under occupation, the fate of the Jewish community, the city’s underground resistance, and more.
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