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We can count the synagogues in Świętokrzyskie that have survived to our times on our fingers. There are not many of them and their condition varies. This time we visited the ruins located near the border with the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The synagogue in Nowy Korczyn invites you!
Location and accessibility
The synagogue is located in Nowy Korczyn. There is a car park next to it, where you can leave your car. The Nida River flows right behind the synagogue – after seeing the building, you can sit on the pier.
The building is closed, it is not possible to enter, but the interior can be seen through the grating. The place owes its present appearance to the renovation and protection carried out in 2012.
History of the synagogue in Nowy Korczyn
The synagogue was built in 1659 under the privilege of King Jan II Kazimierz. Destroyed during the Third Northern War in 1724, it was rebuilt and could accommodate up to 700 people. In 1885, the building was hit by a fire. Ten years later it was rebuilt.
Inside the building, there is a prayer room, which we enter through the vestibule. Originally, we were able to go upstairs. We can see the remains of polychrome on the walls. The most interesting element, however, is the Aron Kodesh (Torah Ark) binding. The niche is surrounded by columns and topped with a decalogue and lions holding the crown.
Jews appeared in Nowy Korczyn probably in the 16th century. The first mention of Jewish families in this town comes from 1564. Within a few years, the number of families grew. The economic activity of the Jews was competitive with the Christian townspeople, therefore in 1744 they asked King August II to remove them from the town.
In the 18th century, the Jewish community of Nowy Korczyn was the 4th largest in the Sandomierz Province. In 1777, 499 Jews lived in Nowy Korczyn, and 70 in Stary Korczyn. In 1827, Jews constituted 51% of the population.
After the partitions of Poland, the city lost its importance. The population was engaged in trade and crafts. In 1921, the Jewish community constituted 68% of the population of Nowy Korczyn.
There were also Jewish cemeteries in the town, a bathhouse, a rabbi’s house and a school – they have not survived to our times. The Germans built trenches from the gravestones of the cemetery.
During the Second World War, there was an open ghetto in Nowy Korczyn in which the Germans gathered about four thousand people. In 1942, they were taken to the death camp in Bełżec. Ultimately, the ghetto was liquidated in 1943. About 30 people survived, they were hidden by Polish families, incl. Piwowarczyk and Kukuczak.
Why is it worth visit?
The building is impressive with its size, and the preserved Aron Kodesh luminaire is nice. When visiting the region you have to plan a visit to Nowy Korczyn, and after sightseeing, relaxation on the Nida River is always useful.
What’s in the neighborhood?
If you are planning a longer trip, while in Nowy Korczyn, go also to Zalipie. You are only 10 kilometers away (a ferry ride on the way!). There are many beautiful paintings on site, located on various sites. You can read more about this place in the text.