In the Old Town you will find many places connected with the history of Lublin’s Jews, even though they were forbidden by law to settle within the city walls until 1862. During the walk we will find out where the mother of Szalom Szachna, the first rector of Lublin yeshiva, lived, in which building the Jewish People’s Theatre was operating and in which the “Hachnasat Kala” Association for Aid to Poor Jewish Girls was located. We will learn the history of joint creation of poetry about Lublin by a Jewish poet and a Christian writer. We will hear about the tragic fate of children from a Jewish orphanage and the unique role that the tenement house at Noworybna 4 played for Holocaust Survivors.
It is best to start exploring the Jewish history of Lublin with a visit to the Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre Centre and the exhibition Lublin. Memory of the Place, which tells the story of the Jewish Quarter that started outside the Old Town walls, just outside the Grodzka Gate, until 1942.In 1990, a group of young artists of the NN Theatre took over the Grodzka Gate building and soon realised that the medieval city gate used to be the passage between the Christian and the Jewish quarters.Tomasz Pietrasiewicz, the founder and Director of the NN Theatre, recalls:When we began working at the Grodzka Gate in the early 1990s, we knew nothing about the history of Lublin Jews. We were not aware that the enormous empty space on one side of the Gate conceals the memory of the Jewish town. We had no idea that the Gate leads to a non-existent town, the Jewish Atlantis. There is a huge car park, new roads and lawns now where houses, synagogues and streets used to be. A large part of this area, along with the foundations of the former Jewish houses, was covered with a layer of concrete. The memory of those who once lived here was hidden away. One cannot understand the history of Lublin without the empty space outside the Gate. It has become a natural setting for the artistic activity of the NN Theatre, its Mystery Plays of Memory, which uncover the memory of the past, at the same time mourning the victims of the Holocaust.Over the years, the Grodzka Gate has gradually turned into a place where, like in an Ark of Memory, we preserve old photographs, documents and testimonies for future generations. The permanent exhibition was created to look like the interior of an archive. Walking through it, one can see hundreds of photographs and listen to recreated sounds of the prewar city. At the same time, one can find information about particular streets and houses in files placed on shelves. The first part of the exhibition presents the history of Jewish life in Lublin until 1939, while its second part, an art installation, is dedicated to the memory of the exterminated Jewish community of Lublin and tells the story of the Righteous Among the Nations, i.e. those who rescued Jews.The exhibition can be seen with a guide. Individual tours are possible from Monday to Friday at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00. Groups are requested to book a tour prior to the visit at +48 81 53 258 67. It is possible to schedule a tour at another time.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- Charged smartphone
Know before you go
- Mobile signal may be weak at the site(s). Download your audio tour on your smartphone prior to your visit to fully enjoy it.
- Ensure that your smartphone is fully charged and that you bring your earphones.
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To take this self-guided tour, you will need to download the Clio Muse Tours app on your iOS or Android device. Enjoy your tour!
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