Tag: Majdanek Concentration Camp

Tag: Majdanek Concentration Camp

Top 10 Things To Do in Lublin

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Lublin. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. Majdanek

Majdanek was a Nazi concentration and extermination camp operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS) during the German occupation of Poland in World War II from 1st October 1941 until 22nd July 22 1944 and was used to kill people on an industrial scale. Majdanek Concentration Camp was located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin and was initially intended for forced labour. It soon became part of Operation Reinhard, the secretive German plan to exterminate Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland. The 270 hectare camp was one of the largest of the Nazi run death camps with seven gas chambers, two wooden gallows and 227 structures. Unlike other camps, Majdanek was captured nearly intact due to the rapid advance of the Soviet Army; which did not allow the SS sufficient time to destroy the infrastructure and evidence of war crimes.

Further information

Full-day private tour to Majdanek Concentration Camp and Lublin from Warsaw

2. Old Jewish Cemetery

The cemetery is located on the site of a former medieval fortress on a hill between Kalinowszczyzna and Sienna Streets and overlooks the Old Town. It is surrounded entirely by a 17th century wall and contains around 30 tombstones, including the oldest Jewish tombstone in Poland. Founded around 1541, the cemetery holds the remains of several distinguished rabbis and scholars of the local community.

3. Grodzka Gate

Also known as The Jewish Gate, it is one of the main gates in the defensive city walls surrounding the Old Town. Historically, the gate  separated the Jewish Quarter from the Christian parts of the city. Inside the building, you can see exhibits about Jewish life in Lublin and see a scale model of pre-war Old Town.

Further information.

4. Lublin Castle

The Lublin Castle is one of the oldest preserved Royal residencies in Poland dating back to the 12th century. The castle has been rebuilt a few times over the years, however some parts are original such as the Romanesque round tower that dominates the courtyard. The castle now hosts the Lublin Museum and the 14th century Gothic Chapel of the Holy Trinity; which contains Russian Byzantine inspired frescoes painted in 1418. The castle was used as a prison during WWII holding around 40,000 inmates.

Further information

Best highlights of Lublin walking tour

5. Cathedral of St John the Baptist

Built in the 16th century as a church of the Society of Jesus, it was one of the first baroque churches in Poland and became a cathedral of the diocese in the early 19th century. The highlights are the impressive interior with baroque trompe l’oeil frescoes, a 14th century bronze baptismal font and a collection of precious gold and silverware.

Further information.

6. Former Jewish Orphanage

The orphanage was established in 1862 by the Jewish Community with the purpose of caring for orphans in need and elderly people. It was located at 11 Grodzka Street in the Old Town and operated until 24th March 1942, when Nazis closed it down with the mass murder of over 100 children and three adult caregivers. The children were taken, most still in their bedclothes to a sandlot in east Lublin and executed. The children’s remains were moved to the New Jewish Cemetery in 1948, where there is a memorial. Today, the former orphanage is a youth centre.

7. Jewish Orphans Memorial

The location where the Jewish children from the Jewish orphanage were beaten and executed. You’ll find a small memorial at the location on the corner of ul Maszynowa & ul Łęczyńska.

Further information.

8. New Jewish Cemetery

Due to a lack of space at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Sienna Street, the New Jewish Cemetery was founded in 1829 with the first burial taking place in 1830. It is the final resting place of 52,000 Jews who were buried there until 1942. The Germans destroyed the majority of the cemetery during WWII and used tombstones from the cemetery in the construction of parts of Majdanek extermination camp. You can find the cemetery 1km north of the Old Jewish Cemetery on ul. Walecznych.

9. Former Headquarters of Operation Reinhard

Located at ul. Spokojna 1, you’ll find a mustard-yellow building, which in 1942 was the administrative headquarters for Operation Reinhard, the German plan in World War II to exterminate Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland. This was where the killing of over 2 million people was administered and the system of death camps such as Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka were created. The building is a law school today and you will not find a marker recalling its role in the Holocaust.

10. Lublin Village Museum

It’s an open-air museum around 5km west of the city centre appearing as a traditional village. There are numerous buildings with fully equipped and furnished interiors in addition to a manor house, an Orthodox church and a windmill.

Further information.

For further information about Things To Do in Lublin – Click here.

Majdanek Concentration Camp

Majdanek was a Nazi concentration and extermination camp operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS) during the German occupation of Poland in World War II from 1st October 1941 until 22nd July 22 1944 and was used to kill people on an industrial scale.

Majdanek Concentration Camp was located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin and was initially intended for forced labour. It soon became part of Operation Reinhard, the secretive German plan to exterminate Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland.

The 270 hectare camp was one of the largest of the Nazi run death camps with seven gas chambers, two wooden gallows and 227 structures. Unlike other camps, Majdanek was captured nearly intact due to the rapid advance of the Soviet Army; which did not allow the SS sufficient time to destroy the infrastructure and evidence of war crimes.

The concept for Majdanek originated with Heinrich Himmler who was Reichsführer of the SS and a leading architect of the Holocaust. Originally, the camp was used as a work camp housing prisoners from 30 different countries and Soviet prisoners of war. The conditions at the camp were horrific, of the 150,000 people who were imprisoned in Majdanek, 80,000 died, including 60,000 Jews. Many succumbed to disease, starvation and the forced labour.

During the beginning of Operation Reinhard, Majdanek was re-purposed as a sorting and storage depot for property and valuables stolen from the victims at the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The gas chambers were added to the camp in September 1942; at which time, Majdanek began to function as a killing centre.

The official estimation of the number of victims of Majdanek is 78,000, of those 59,000 were Jews.

In July 1969, on the 25th anniversary of its liberation, a large monument was constructed at the site. It consists of two parts: a large gate monument at the camp’s entrance and a large mausoleum holding ashes of the victims at its opposite end.

For those of you who are staying in Warsaw, we highly recommend a private guided tour to Majdanek Concentration Camp. Your professional guide will take you into the most interesting parts and tell you everything you want to know about it. Your tour is private so it’s you who decide where do you want to go.

Alternatively, if you wish to explore Lublin in addition to Maidanek, then we recommend a full-day private tour to Majdanek Concentration Camp and Lublin from Warsaw.

After your guide picks you up from your hotel, you will head to the Majdanek concentration and extermination camp, located just outside of the city of Lublin. Originally, it was supposed to be bigger than the infamous Auschwitz and plans were implemented to make it a slave labor source for the creation of a new empire in the east. Here the daunting stories of the premises from your personal guide. After a lunch break, you will have the opportunity to discover Lublin – a beautiful city rich in history, where Western and Eastern Worlds meet. During its golden ages, Lublin was a wealthy city, full of the aristocracy’s impressive palaces, amazing sacral architecture and tenement houses. Found out why it also carries the nicknames “Little Cracow”, “Vienna of the North”, “Little Jerusalem” and decide yourself which one is most fitting for this pearl of eastern Poland.

Visit the Majdanek website.

Lublin Province (Lubelskie)

Lublin Province is located in south-eastern Poland and is named after its regional capital, the city of Lublin. The region has two National Parks, Polesie National Park and Roztocze National Park in addition to 17 Landscape Parks. It also has a number of historical sites including the UNESCO-listed Old Town in Zamość.

Lublin province attracts visitors and tourists from near and far with a multitude of attractions and things to do such as hiking in the Vistula glacial valley, boat trips along the river in Kazimierz Dolny or treatment at one of the provinces many health spas.

Prior to World War II, the area was one of the world’s leading centres of Judaism with 300,000 Jews living there. During the war, the area became the site of the Majdanek concentration camp, Bełżec extermination camp and Sobibór extermination camp in addition to several labour camps. After the war, the few surviving Jews largely left the area; today there is some restoration of areas of Jewish historical interest, and a surge of tourism by Jews seeking to view their families’ historical roots.

The western part of the province is the most visited by tourists, in particular the town of Kazimierz Dolny, a hugely popular weekend getaway for Warsaw and Lublin residents. Many painters retreat to this small town to paint and sell their work and galleries can be found in almost every street.

The city of Lublin is definitely worthy of a day trip, it has a thriving cultural and academic scene, a small but quaint Old Town and an impressive collection of Renaissance and baroque townhouses. There are plenty of sites to explore such as Lublin Castle, the Donjon Castle Tower, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Lublin, the Trinity Tower, and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Other popular places to visit in the province include: Zamość with its unique Old Town architecture, the Lublin Renaissance Route, the Museum of Southern Podlasie, Chełm Chalk Tunnels and the Zamoyski Museum in Kozłówka.