Taking A Croatia Jewish Heritage Trip With Adventures Croatia
Have you ever considered going on a Croatia Jewish Heritage Trip? Croatia has a deep connection with the Jewish community, one that dates back centuries. Whilst it has not always been a pleasant history, over the most recent years, the Jewish community has begun to flourish with many museums, synagogues and ancient historical ruins holding a testament to the long Jewish heritage that lies within the country’s roots.
The Jewish community in Croatia
When we think of the Jewish community in Croatia nowadays, the largest hub is located in Zagreb. But in the past, the Jewish community was spread across the region and mostly divided into two different parts: the in-land region which saw the Jewish community vastly scattered throughout Austro-Hungarian rule.
The other region was the Dalmatian coast where the Jewish community was much denser but thought to have been around since ancient times. In fact, the Jewish community in Croatia can be dated as far back as the 3rd century AD, although little is known of the community until the 10th and 15th centuries.
The impacts of the World Wars and the creation of Yugoslavia
When the area that is now known as Croatia became part of Yugoslavia following World War I, the Jewish community faced a big threat from fascist parties. The community, which had just over 20,000 people within it on the eve of World War II was almost entirely destroyed in The Holocaust.
By the end of World War II, the Croatian Jewish population was greatly reduced to around 5,000. Many of the survivors chose to settle elsewhere, especially as post-war communist rule took over the state of Yugoslavia. Many of the Jewish community chose to settle in Israel while some of the 2,500 live today in Croatia. However, this is an estimate and it is believed that the number of Croatian Jews is larger, as more than 80 per cent of the 1,500 members of Zagreb’s Jewish community were either born in mixed marriages or are married to a non-Jew.
The breakdown of Yugoslavia
Following Croatia’s secession from Yugoslavia in 1991, the new governing body showed large support for the Jewish community in Croatia to counter accusations of extreme nationalism. As a result, aid was provided to the Jewish community to rebuild their heritage within the country. One of these projects included the reconstruction of the Zagreb Jewish community building which was part of a terrorist attack back in 1991.
Most of the 90s saw a shift in Jewish life in Croatia with much of the community gaining a stronger identity within Croatian society.
Taking a Croatia Jewish heritage trip
If you’re looking for specialized, Jewish heritage tours around Croatia, then you have come to the right place. Join us here at Adventures Croatia for a trip through time as we take you on a journey to uncover the true Croatian Jewish heritage that exists within this region.
When taking a heritage tour around Croatia, you can discover the rich history of the Jewish community in Croatia and its surrounding countries first-hand – learn how the Jewish people came to settle in the country, the struggles the Jewish people have faced and how the community operates now in the modern day.
The best places to experience Jewish heritage in Croatia are:
Zagreb’s connection with the Jewish community dates back centuries. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Jewish community in Zagreb was led by “Magistratus Judaeorum.” But in 1456, the Jewish people along with most non-Catholic Croats were forced out during the rule of the first Habsburg monarchs.
After the Edict of Tolerance was issued in 1782 by Habsburg Emperor Joseph II, the Jewish people began settling in the Zagreb area once again rebuilding the city’s connection to the Jewish Community.
Highlights of this city’s connection to Jewish heritage include the Mirogoj cemetery (the Jewish part is well preserved among the rare ones in Central Europe), Jewish Community Centre and the Zagreb Synagogue.
The city of Dubrovnik is a must-stop destination for anyone planning to take a Croatia Jewish heritage trip. The best spots to visit for Jewish heritage include the old Jewish Cemetery “Bet Haim”, Ulica Žudioska (Jewish Street) and the Old City where you can see the Jewish Fountain, Franciscan Monastery with the third oldest pharmacy in Europe, Rector’s Palace, and the Cathedral.
No Jewish heritage trip around Croatia is complete without a visit to the Jewish Ghetto in Dubrovnik and the Synagogue of Dubrovnik which is the third oldest synagogue in Europe, built back in 1408 and is considered one of the most cherished sites of Sephardic culture in the world.
The Dalmatian coast was once a cultural hub for the Jewish community, much of which can be seen today in the ancient historical buildings and ruins which remain.
The most noteworthy of these are the restored Synagogue of Split, located along the narrow street called Židovski prolaz (Jewish Passage), the Jewish Ghetto, and Morpurgo Library. Visit the Jewish Community Center in Split. Whilst visiting Split we recommend taking a drive to Marjan Hill for a visit to the Old Jewish Cemetery dating from 1537, where you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the town of Split.
Jewish Heritage Private Tour – Balkans
Our Jewish Heritage Private Tour through the Balkans takes travelers on a 13-day tour that spans the Croatian coast and out across the Croatian border to visit Jewish heritage sites in Slovenia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. This exclusive tour runs between late May – September and will take travelers to visit the following locations:
ZAGREB – BLED – LJUBLJANA – CROATIAN ZAGORJE – PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK – SPLIT – MOSTAR – SARAJEVO – DUBROVNIK – MONTENEGRO
Each of these destinations has a deep connection to the Jewish community and is wrapped in Croatian Jewish heritage and traditions. If there is a specific location you would like to visit on this tour, speak to our travel specialists today.
At Adventures Croatia we also offer the opportunity to create custom tour itineraries for Croatia – if there is a destination you would like to visit, get in touch with our team who will be more than happy to work with you to create a completely bespoke tour tailored to your vacation preferences.
For the ultimate Croatia Jewish heritage trip, look no further. Book your space on our exclusive Jewish Heritage Private Tour now.