Krasnik Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Kraśnik was founded under Magdeburg Law in 1377 as a private town. Between 1604–1866, it belonged to the Zamojska Entail. The earliest records of the Kraśnik Jewsish population come from the 1830s, although at that time Jews were forbidden to live within the town, as such they likely lived in the surrounding areas. The ban was dropped in 1584 and by 1593 the Jewish population had established itself on Żydowska Street (now called Bóżnicza Street), where a wooden synagogue and other community buildings were located, near the market square. After the town fire in 1673, plots of land a little further from the market square were designated for community buildings. A brick synagogue and the still extant beit midrash were erected there. The Jewish population continued to grow and by 1787, 2,416 Jews were among the 3,781 inhabitants, which was 63.8% of the total population. In the 1930s, approximately 5,000 Jews lived in Kraśnik, this was 40% of the total population. After World War II, some survivors resettled in Kraśnik, however due to the hostile atmosphere, the majority of them left in 1947 with the rest following in 1968.
The first Jewish cemetery was likely established at the end of the 16th or in the early 17th century. The first information about it dates back to 1612. It was located about 100 meters north-east of the market square, on the sloping ground outside the town walls. There was a gateway to the cemetery in the wall and the cemetery was bordered by gardens and meadows as well as being surrounded by a trench. Its total area of about 0.2 hectares was rectangular. The cemetery was closed in the 1640s or 1650s, this was likely related to the relocation of communal buildings to a new place in the town and to the townspeople’s complaints regarding the noisy funeral processions passing through the market square. During World War II, the cemetery was destroyed, the tombstones were used to pave streets and pavements, and the area was used as arable gardens. Currently, there are no traces of the existence of the cemetery. The area is partially built-up with residential houses and gardens. Only one tombstone dating from 1634 survived outside the cemetery.