The Copernican Procession, an occasional exhibition, a ceremonial symposium with the participation of representatives of historical cities from around the world – these are some of the highlights of the celebrations of the 45th anniversary of inscribing Krakow on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which will take place from 7 to 9 September.
“Kraków’s presence on the prestigious list and the status of a world-famous historical city has been, is and will be a guidepost and a point of reference for development for us,” said the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski.
The decision to enter the historic center of Krakow on the prestigious list was made in September 1978 during the first meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Kraków is one of 12 such places in the world, along with the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine. Krakow was also the first place in Europe where not a single facility was awarded, but the entire urban complex with the Wawel Royal Castle, the Old Town, Kazimierz and the former suburb of Stradom. The entry was followed by efforts to revalorize decaying monuments. In the same year, the Social Committee for the Restoration of Krakow’s Monuments (SKOZK) was established, which – from the funds of the National Fund for the Revalorization of Krakow’s Monuments – supports conservation work to this day.
The city has been celebrating its jubilee since the beginning of the year. New signs welcoming UNESCO to the city have appeared on the entrance roads. A commemorative plaque was unveiled at the entrance of the Royal Road to the Old Town, under the Barbican. The “Treasures of Krakow” exhibition is presented in various city squares. An illuminated board at the Balice airport also informs travelers about the status of Krakow.
The main anniversary celebrations will last from September 7 to 9. The planned events include the Copernicus Procession (September 9), which will p through the city streets. This show prepared by the KTO Theater is combined with the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the birth of the famous astronomer. The parade will start in front of the Floriańska Gate and will include approximately 200 artists, including: actors, musicians, stilt walkers, French acrobats from the Compagnie Tac O Tac group. All interested parties are invited to participate in the procession. On the occasion of the anniversary, an exhibition will be opened at the Krzysztofory Palace on September 7, presenting the activities of the Social Committee for the Restoration of Krakow’s Monuments. During the opening, the Bolesław bell on the nearby town hall tower will ring. The exhibition “45 years of the renewal of Krakow – a city on the World Heritage List” will be open until October 8. The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by a screening of the film “Stones Have a Voice to Tell the Past to the Future” directed by Marta Węgiel produced by TVP Kraków. The document describes the changes that have taken place in Krakow since the 1970s. On September 7, the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award will also be presented for the conservation work on the Veit Stoss altar, carried out in the years 2015-2021. The organizers have also planned a symposium open to the public (8 September) at the seat of the city council, with the participation of representatives of UNESCO and the Europa Nostra organization. After the conference, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled at the Wawel Royal Castle.
The meeting (September 7) will be a closed meeting at the seat of the Society of Lovers of History and Monuments of Krakow. The inauguration of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub – the Europa Nostra regional center for Central Europe – will take place then. Discussions accompanying this event can be followed on social media. (PAP)
author: Beata Kolodziej