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Polska / mazowieckie

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


Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:płocki / płocki (before 1939)
Community:Płock / Płock (before 1939)
Other names:פלוצק [j. hebrajski]; Плоцк [j. rosyjski]
52.5464° N / 19.7062° E
52°32'47" N / 19°42'22" E


Tomasz Kawski

Płock – a city with county rights in central Poland, in the Mazovian Province. It lies 109 km northwest of Warsaw, by the Vistula River.



Tomasz Kawski

Płock Rabbi House | Marcin Wygocki

The date of the arrival of the first Jews in Płock still remains unknown. Information about their existence in the town is mentioned in 1237 in the document of the Płock Bishop Piotr I Półkozica which confirmed the incorporation of a new town in Płock: “The borders of the town have to run from the burial mounds, which are situated at the road leading to Czerwińsk, up to the well at the Wojsław Church and the other well, the Jewish one”. We can infer from the text that a Jewish district existed already in that period and by the same token it was among the oldest Jewish districts in Poland. Set up in medieval times, the Jewish district survived almost unchanged, taking into consideration its borders, until the 19th century. Just like the synagogue and the school, it was situated in the Old Town area near the town walls, north-east of the Old Square on both sides of Żydowska Street. Between the Jewish district and the town walls there was an empty lot.

Throughout the subsequent centuries the Jews began to settle on Szewska, Jerozolimska, Tylna, Niecała, Kwiatka (now Szeroka) and partially Bielska, Grodzka and Starego Rynku Streets. The properties in the district belonged not only to the Jews from Płock but also to those from the neighboring towns and to the Christians. In 1516, Felix, a Jew from Płock, bought a house on Żydowska Street from a saddler from Ciechanów, Paweł Chomętowski, for which he paid six grosz. The exact number of Jewish people living in the district cannot be determined but some tax information serves here as a clue for us.

It indicates that in the 1480s two Jewish families paid rents, in 1507 the Jewish residents paid five zlotys of coronation tax, and in the mid-16th century five families paid “hearth and home” tax to the Treasury (the number increased shortly to 120 payers). 126 Jewish inhabitants were supposed to pay poll tax in 1578. The vetting from the year 1616 documented about 25 then-existing Jewish houses. The war that occurred in 1655-1660 entailed devastation of a great part of Płock not saving the Jewish district where only 7 houses were left. Perfect conditions facilitating development of the Jewish settlement in Płock and in the whole Kingdom of Poland occurred thanks to many rights and privileges that Jews received in 1264 and in 1334-1364. The Christian bourgeois was loath to accept the Jews’ arrival in the


Local history

Tomasz Kawski

 Zniszczony most na Wiśle w Płocku. | Nieznany

The Płock’s origin dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries when a pagan center was located here on Tumska Mountain. A prince‘s fortification and an early-medieval settlement were established here in the 10th century. The Płock‘s fortified location on a high Vistuala’s bank and at the junction of shipping (on the Vistula) and land routes were an invaluable asset to the political, trade and strategic position of the town.

A Benedictine monastery was established around 1009 which later developed as a science and art center. In 1075, a diocese seat was created in this place. From 1079 to 1138 Płock performed a role of the Poland’s capital. After King Władysław the Wrymouth’s death in 1138, the town became the capital of the district, then of the Principality, and eventually the seat of the Masovian dukes. For the first time in Masovia, Duke Konrad Mazowiecki granted the Polish town rights to the settlement in 1237 and the Duke Siemowit I extended them in 1255. Both the fortification and castle were repeatedly destroyed during the successive years and they were most severely damaged in 1031, 1262, 1286 and 1325. The role of the town was temporarily marginalized when the Czechs took control over the Duchy of Płock in 1329. In 1351 King Casimir the Great retook the Duchy and extended it. Later on, the monarch fortified the town walls and the castle and after his death Płock returned to the Duchy of Masovia.

In 1435, the Masovian Duke Władysław I chartered the town on the base of the Chełm Law and in 1495 it was incorporated into the Crown for good becoming the capital of the Province. A water-supply system was installed and a hospital was founded in the 15th century. The 16th century was a period of fast development of the local economy. At that time, the most important fields of activity included trade, craft, as well as clothing, brewing and alcohol-distillation industries. In 1511, a great fire destroyed a considerable part of the town and the castle, while in 1532 a sliding Vistula bank destroyed the castle even more. After these events the townspeople began to rebuild the area. Many buildings in the Renaissance style, including a cathedral, were erected or reconstructed. The town walls were fortified and the castle underwent renovation.

In 1564, the number of buildings in Płock increased to 600 so


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