Jewish Heritage

As a regional hub, Rzeszów was traditionally home to a large number of Jews. The pre-WWII Jewish population numbered around 18,000, or about one-third of the city’s total. Most of this community perished in 1942 at the German-run extermination camp at Bełżec, near Lublin. Not much trace of this once-vibrant community remains, with the exception of two impressive synagogues, northeast of the Rynek. The 18th-century New Town Synagogue dates originally from the early 18th century and was built in a fusion of Renaissance and baroque styles. It was used by the Germans as a warehouse during WWII, and after the war fell into ruin. It now houses a contemporary art gallery. Note the gate on the 1st floor – made of wrought iron and clay, it’s the work of the contemporary sculptor Marian Kruczek. The smaller 17th-century Old Town Synagogue is the older of the two. The style here is Renaissance. It was partly destroyed by the Germans during WWII and now holds the city's archives. It's closed to the general public.