Summer is approaching, and thanks to the vaccine rollout, travel restrictions in Europe are, in many places, being eased — at least somewhat. It’s clear, though, that virtual tours and online exploration of cultural heritage will continue to play a major role in our “travel” experience. Museums and heritage sites are grappling with how to move forward into the post (or waning) pandemic period with a hybrid on on-site and on-line offers.
Last year, early in the pandemic, we posted links to many virtual tours and presentations.
Here are two more that have been created and posted online in recent months. Both are in Poland and both, created by the Polish company skanowanie.xyz, are particularly detailed, providing extensive information that combine text and visuals, as well as links to external videos.
We can’t embed these tours, but clicking the links will take you to the web sites where you can enjoy the full experience.
The virtual tour was created for the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) and provides a detailed exploration of the synagogue, which was built in 1761 and boasts extraordinarily ornate and colorful interior decorations that were created in several phases from the 1760s into the 20th century.
Originally built in the 15th century and remodeled many times, the synagogue is the oldest of the seven synagogues in Kazimierz and also the oldest existing synagogue in Poland. It was looted and devastated by the Nazis during World War II and left a partial ruin. Painstakingly restored in 1956-1959 by the government’s Monuments Preservation Fund, the building was then reopened to house a permanent exhibit of the Judaica collection owned by the Cracow City History Museum. Its interior features include gothic vaulting, a late-Renaissance stone ark and Bimah surrounded by an elaborate wrought-iron grille.
The tour allows “visitors” to examined specific features of the synagogue and items in the exhibition. It is also supplemented with links to text and to YouTube videos.
Here’s one of the external links — a new drone video of the exterior of the building: