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Polska / małopolskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:małopolskie / krakowskie (before 1939)
County:chrzanowski / chrzanowski (before 1939)
Community:Chrzanów / Chrzanów (before 1939)
Other names:Krenau (1941-45) [j. niemiecki]; כזשאנאװ [j. jidysz]; כשאנוב [j. hebrajski]
50.1435° N / 19.4008° E
50°08'36" N / 19°24'02" E


Katarzyna Pabis

Chrzanów – a city with county rights in southern Poland, in Małopolskie Province. It lies by the Chechło River (one of Vistula River’s left-bank tributaries), 318 km southwest of Warsaw, 46 km west of Krakow and 37 km east of Katowice.



Wedding in Chrzanow before WW2 | shmuel farkash

First Jews started to settle in Chrzanów in the 16th or at the end of the 17th century. Nonetheless, it was not until 1745 that an organised Jewish community and a rabbinical court were established in the town. Several years later, in 1759, a Jewish cemetery was opened in Chrzanów. The very same year, the Jewish Community of Chrzanów signed a document of deference to the General Consistory of Kraków. The document banned Jews from performing certain activities and services, e.g. chopping wood, brewing beer and making vodka during Christian holidays, and hiring Catholics as servants. Moreover, Jews had limited rights of buying houses owned by Christians and they were obliged to pay a tribute to the Parson of Chrzanów. The tribute had to be paid twice a year – on Easter and on St Nicholas Day. The new community became independent from the religious district of Kraków and had authority over the village of Libiąż Mały (since 1790). In 1786, the Community of Chrzanów started building the town's first synagogue, the construction of which had been approved a year before by Michał Jerzy Poniatowski, the Archbishop of Kraków. The brick synagogue was erected on 1787 at Estery Square (current Krakowska Street).

Jew Jakub is usually considered to have been the first Jewish inhabitant of Chrzanów. The record of his existence and his profession – a pawn shop owner – comes from Town Council files from 1590. Files from 1619 mention Jew Marek, a leaseholder of several mills, a banker and a lead merchant. Another record of a Jewish inhabitant of Chrzanów comes from 1673 and describes a purchase of a house located on the town's square and owned by Wojciech Wacławicz (Wachławowicz) by a Jewish man called Abram Szajowicz.

As stipulated in the 1539 Sejm Constitution, Jews officially remained under the jurisdiction of the town's owner, but even in the period directly preceding the partitions they de facto had a number of privileges. The legal relations between Polish and Jewish townsmen were settled by the statute introduced on 8 July 1781 by Józef Salezy Ossoliński. The Jewish Community and its structures were fully consolidated in the first half of the 18th cen


Local history

Natalia Kłopotek

The beginnings of the settlement that developed over time into the present-day town of Chrzanów can be traced back to the 12th century and the mining of iron and lead ores. Historical sources, however, are not unequivocal as to when exactly the town was founded.

The name of Chrzanów was first mentioned in 1179 as the seat of a castellany located in the area of today's district of Kościelec. The castellany was granted by Duke Casimir II the Just to Duke Mieszko the Tanglefoot of Racibórz together with the neighbouring castellanies of Oświęcim and Bytom. In the 13th century, Chrzanów was still owned by Mieszko's descendants: Duke Kazimierz and, later, Duke Mieszko II the Fat of Opole. It was then that the town was invaded by Tatar hordes. Local tradition has it that the Tatars came accompanied by herdsmen locally called cabani. Over time their community gave up the nomadic life and assimilated with Poles, but the tradition has been preserved until now. Several local families with a long history are descendants of the shepherds (e.g. the Baliś, Bytomski, Dulowski, Oczkowski and Palka families). Moreover, one of regional specialties is “caban's potatoes” (although potatoes were brought to Poland much later).

In the 13th century, a border castle owned by Kraków bishops, including Jan Muskaty, Wojciech Jastrzębiec and Zbigniew Oleśnicki was erected in Lipowiec near Chrzanów.  Starting from the 14th century, the castle served defensive purposes as a border stronghold and prison.

The town was granted a charter under the Magdeburg law in the 14th century. It seems, however, that a city-like settlement must have existed in the area even earlier. At the time, a quadrilateral marketplace with streets diverging from its corners was built.

Chrzanów remained a private property until the 20th century. Its first owner was Piotr Ligęza, Półkozic coat of arms, who was committed to the development of trade benefiting from the strate





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