I have written about the Brama Grodzka in the past (link), and its role in preserving the memory of Old Lublin. I have watched several Yiddish films recently (yes, with subtitles) and found the portrayal of Jewish life at the turn of the 20th Century, amazingly consistent with the images of pre-WW2 life I have studied while in Lublin.
It is purely by coincidence that my wife was reading Singer’s Magician of Lublin, at the same time I was watching the films. Which led me to reflect on the time I spent in Lublin. Lublin is a historic city, and the castle and old town areas are wonderful examples of progress and continuity.
Notable in this are the legacy of the city’s Jewish past. These include an impressive Yeshiva, and the old cemetery.
The Grodzka Gate is in similar style found throughout the old quarter of the city. Its features blend wonderfully with those of the castle, yeshiva, and even the train station.
It is easy to imagine the way old Lublin would have been, as many areas still have this distinctive architecture and cobbled streets. Brama Grodzka has some great pictures and models that accentuate this.
The city also offers the elegance of bygone ages as well. I stayed at the Grand Lublin Hotel (Grand Hotel Lublinianka). The building is magnificent and the entire place had the feel of turn of the 20th Century luxury and charm. The breakfasts were abundant, and very tasty.
This is not to say that Lublin is a “living museum” or a throw back. It is in many ways a modern city as well with good restaurants and an excellent train service (which I made a great day trip to Warsaw).
This is a city of the old and the new. The flavour of its Yiddish speaking past, and its European Union present makes for a great blend. The prices are reasonable (if not down right cheap by UK and USA standards) and the people I found to be friendly. This is a place for culture and for reflection.