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Polska / opolskie

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


Province:opolskie / inne (before 1939)
County:miasto na prawach powiatu / Oppeln (before 1939)
Community:Opole / Oppeln (before 1939)
Other names:Oppeln [j. niemiecki]; אופולה [j. hebrajski]
50.6691° N / 17.9238° E
50°40'08" N / 17°55'25" E


Adam Marczewski /

Herb miasta Opole | Shazz

Opole - a city in south-western Poland, Opole Province, a county capital. It is located 315 km southwest of Warsaw. It lies on the Odra River, in the eastern part of the Silesian Lowlands.



Adam Marczewski

Nowa Synagoga w Opolu, około 1935 r. | nieznany

It is probable that first Jews had lived in Opole yet before the city was founded, which is known to have take place in the years 1211-1217 (see Jews in Silesia until 16th c.). 

In the mid-14th century, the Black Death broke out in Silesia, which led to another calamity, which was famine. The local people, who were trying to find someone to put the blame on, accused the Jews of poisoning a well, which resulted in a bloody pogrom that took place in the city in 1349. It is most probable that the Jews owned a school in Opole at that time..

Another historical reference that confirms Jewish presence in Opole dates from 1396 and states that Duke Bolko IV sold a house by the St. Cross cemetery, which had previously belonged to a Jew named Izaak..

At the beginning of the 15th century, most of the Jewish residents of Opole made a living by trading and granting loans to dukes (a canonical ban on charging interest in case of money loans was in force in whole of the then Europe). This is to be confirmed by the fact that in 1426 Duke Bolko IV owed to two Jewish brothers from Opole, Mosze and Dawid 40 and 124 grzywnas, respectively..

In 1427, Duke Bolko IV’s brother, Bernard, allowed Jew Abraham from Ziębice, his family and all the people he employed to settle in Opole for ten years. The settlement privilege is


Local history

Adam Marczewski /

Panorama Opola, 1535 | nieznany

The castle and the surrounding town date from the 9th century. The first mention of the castle dates back to 845 AD (the note “Descriptio civitatum et regionum ad septentrionalem plagam Danubii” written down for Ludwig II of Bavaria). The place was one of the centers of the Opolanie tribe. Probably at the end of the 9th century the territory constituted a part of Great Moravia which eventually fell into Czech influence at a later time.

In approximately 990 AD, Opole, together with entire Silesia, was annexed by Poland.

In 1039 it came back under the Czech rule for another 11 years.

In the 12th century the city had a Castellan Castle.

The town rights were received by Opole prior to 1217. In 1241 the town surrounding the castle was burnt down by Tatar troops. Ever since 1283 the city was the capital of Piast Dynasty Duchy and a major center of trade and crafts on the road from Wrocław to Cracow.

Since 1327 Opole was under Czech influence and followed the political fate of Silesia. The population of Opole in 1350 was estimated to be approximately 2,300 inhabitants. In 1395 and 1474 the City was besieged by the Polish army.

In 1532 it came under the rule of the Hohenzollern Dynasty.

The great flood of 1600 and the fire of 1615 destroyed a part of the city. During the 30 Years’ War, in 1632 Opole was captured and plundered by the Swedish army. During the Swedish invasion of Poland, in 1655, the Polish King, Jan II Kazimierz and his court resided in Opole. In 1666 the city became the property of the Habsburg Dynasty.

Since 1742 Opole belonged to the Prussian State under the changed name of Oppeln. Ever since 1747 the city had a set garrison. During the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) the city was occupied by Austria (twice- in 1757 and in 1762) and Russia (in 1761). In the year 1800 Opole had 3,550 inhabitants.

During the Napoleonic Wars, in 1807, the city was occupied by the Bavarian army. During the years 1819-1848, the towers and city walls were torn down in order to create better conditions for the development of the city. Major economical growth came with the opening of the rail connection with Wrocław in 1843. In the same period the shipping industry on the Odra River was revived. In 1900 Opole had 30,112 inhabitants.

In the interwar period, in 1921,


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