Kazimierz Dolny is a favourite spot for painters, photographers and film-makers. It owes its fame to the great harmony of the landscape, combining nature with beautiful architecture. The castle and a stone tower, which used to guard the Vistula crossing, come from the period of Casimir the Great’s foundation of the city. Once a royal town and one of the major trade ports during the 17th century, a budding painter would find the most diverse landscapes to paint: Renaissance palaces nestled next to wooden houses, the meanders of the mighty Vistula, wooded hills with deeply carved hollow roads.
At the start of the 1900s, around half of the population of the town was Jewish. Kazimierz entered the age of art then, becoming a favourite painting resort. It was home to the artists’ colony associated mainly with professor Pruszkowski. This director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw brought promising young painter students to Kazimierz in his private plane. After the Second World War, fewer than twenty of Kazimierz Dolny’s Jewish inhabitants were said to have survived. The town itself was revived mainly as an art and tourist centre.
Today, Kazimierz Dolny is one of the art centres in Poland. Many painters retreat to this small town to paint and sell their work. Galleries can be found in almost every street. They showcase and sell sculptures, stained-glass, folk art, and fine art. The atmosphere of the past and traces of the Jewish „sztetl Kuzmir”, traditions of the artists’ colony all add mystery to the place.