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Lublin is the surprise of southeast Poland. The region's largest city, with a thriving cultural and academic scene, has a small but evocative Old Town and the surrounding historic precincts have a new sheen, giving new lustre to the Old Town's impressive stock of Renaissance and baroque townhouses.

That said, Lublin was ravaged during WWII and the forced industrialisation of the communist period added insult to injury. The city is also an important part of Poland’s Jewish past. For centuries it was a leading centre of Jewish scholarship, giving rise to its nickname the ‘Jewish Oxford’. That heritage came to a brutal end in WWII, especially at Majdanek, the concentration camp within Lublin's borders. Still, finding traces of the city's Jewish past can be a meaningful and moving part of a visit.

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