Monday May 30, 2016
Our tour guide is very energetic, so we started our day off quite early, and began walking all over the streets of Lublin.
One of our first stops was a Jewish synagogue. Prior to WWII, there used to be a lot more synagogues, today there are only a few in each city of Poland. This one was one that was able to survive the war. Most synagogues were destroyed by the Nazis, and not rebuilt since many Jews did not return to Poland.
We then went to a small cemetery that had a stone that had Hebrew written all over it. The cemetery is enclosed and we had to get a key to unlock it. Im assuming this is to keep it preserved and protected from vandalism.
After a few hours of walking, we took a short break and stopped at a nearby mall. I’ve heard a lot about the malls in Poland, and the people are apparently very proud of them. It was very nice and clean inside, definitely nicer than any mall in Wisconsin. I bought a couple shirts, which seemed to be comparable if not a little cheaper to the prices in the U.S.
We went to a museum in the old town where we learned more about the Holocaust and learned about the projects they are doing today to try and maintain records from those who survived the war. In the museum they have about 40,000 folders with information about someone that they would like to find out who it is. They may have just a picture of someone, or a letter. Their goal is to hopefully have family members identify the people that they have records on.
It was a very hot day, and we were all beginning to get very tired. Our tour guide still had a couple places she wanted us to see. We went to two Christian churches. The churches have been much more extravagant than the synagogues. As you can see, there are some similarities and some differences among the two churches, but they are quite different than the synagogue. I find it interesting how different religions decide to decorate their place of worship. From what I can tell, Jewish people seem to be much more modest and not as concerned about being elegant. One reason may be that Jews do not try to convert non-Jews to Judaism, whereas Christians want to try and spread their beliefs and pass their faith on to non-Christians. The first picture is from one church, and the remaining 3 pictures are from another church.
Today was our last day in Lublin. I thought this was a very nice city, and a lot less touristy than Krakow. With a population of just under 350,000 it was a lot quieter, and seemed to be friendlier. I wish we could have spent a few more days in Lublin so that we could have gotten more framiliar with the town.