The meeting will take place at the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, AGH University of Science and Technology. It is situated near the center of town and offers very nice and modern conference facilities.
On two floors there are spaces for a total of 320 listeners. Assembly Hall has been designed an arc and descends gently toward the cathedral. Hall has very good acoustic parameters and a modern audiovisual system, focused on the transmission of multimedia content. It is equipped with a movable partition which allows to split it, if necessary, into two smaller ones.
It is not a simple task to describe the unique character of Krakow to those who still have not had the opportunity to visit this city. This uniqueness is primarily due to the rare cultural heritage embodied within the city walls. Here, in the year 1000, a Roman Catholic bishopric was founded. Here, the residential royal castle was constructed on the Wawel Hill, becoming the site for the coronations and burials of kings, as Krakow was the capital of Poland from the 11th to 17th century. Here in 1364, the Krakow Academy was established, the first Polish University (today renamed the Jagiellonian University).
During the Renaissance, Cracow became the centre of progressive ideas, with a culture that concentrated the most outstanding humanists, writers, architects and musicians. Even a few centuries later, while the city was going through an economic decline during the period of Modernism, quite probably the whole of the Polish artistic elite found its haven in Krakow. City life focused around the Market Square, the second largest in Europe after St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
Only few European cities have such a distinct medieval architectural layout as Krakow does. When we look down the city’s roofs we will see an exceptional checked pattern of streets, which are surrounded by fragments of the surviving city walls. This view evokes the exciting picture of a medieval fortified town surrounded by city walls. The walls were strengthened with 47 towers and had a total length of 3 km. Eight main gates led to the town. Only one of them has survived. The walls not only safeguarded the citizens but also the priceless pearls of architecture inside. The medieval fortification system survived until the 19th century. The local authorities decided to demolish the walls and replace them with a strip of green land around the city called the Planty. Now it forms an oval city park, a rarity in the world, which extends around the Old Town.
Tradition interlaces with modern times nearly everywhere you go, and each stone has its own history. There is a multitude of architectural monuments estimated at six thousand buildings and other types and forms of construction. This is supplemented by approximately 2.5 million artefacts collected and displayed in museums, churches and archives. Thanks to the extraordinary accumulation of cultural wealth, the city was registered as one of the 12 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It is impossible to describe or even list all the tourist attractions in Krakow. One can be sure, however, that each tourist will discover his or her own magical” Krakow. While some will follow the footsteps of Nicholas Copernicus, others will be interested in sites linked with John Paul II. Some will be fascinated by the worldwide unique underground corridors of the Wieliczka salt mine, and, yet others will wander around the alleys of the Jewish Kazimierz district. Still others will stand enchanted in front of the Wit Stwosz altar.
Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs. It was the capital of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland from 1038 to 1569.
The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland’s second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Slavonic Europe in 965.
With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre.
Geography of Krakow, Poland
The city is situated in southern Poland on both banks of Wisla (Vistula) river. Geographic coordinates of central Krakow are 50°04’N 19°56’E. Its average elevation is about 220 meters above sea level. There are several hills within the city limits, highest Sowiniec 384 m above sea level. Krakow has area of 326.8 square kilometers that constitute 0.1 percent of the territory of Poland.
Population of Krakow
Number of permanent residents of Krakow proper hovers around 755,000 while the Krakow conurbation totals some 1.5 million. The local populace is ethnically almost homogeneous with people proudly declaring their Polish nationality. Yet immigrants start to leave a mark on the city, and some expatriate communities, notably Britons prove themselves quite vocal.
Krakow’s best known historic landmarks
The city boasts hundreds of historical buildings, from medieval churches to Art Nouveau edifices. Krakow’s most popular ancient monuments are Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu), Wawel Cathedral (Katedra Wawelska), St. Mary’s church (Kosciol Mariacki), Collegium Maius, Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Barbican (Barbakan), St. Florian Gate (Brama Florianska), Tyniec Abbey (Opactwo Tynieckie), and Old Synagogue (Stara Boznica).
There are 36 museums in Krakow including separate branches of the National Museum in Krakow and the City of Krakow Historical Museum. Krakow National Museum with its ten branches and two libraries is Poland’s biggest. Most interesting museums in Krakow are The Czartoryskis Museum (Muzeum Ksiazat Czartoryskis), Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski), Schindler’s Factory, Bishop Ciolek Palace (Palac Biskupa Ciolka) exhibiting medieval art, Museum of Archeology (Muzeum Archeologiczne), and Aviation Museum (Muzeum Lotnictwa).
Entertainment in Krakow
Concerts of classical music, jazz, and pop take place every day in Krakow and especially on weekends there is wide choice of them. The city’s is famed in Poland for its energetic nightlife, courtesy of hundreds of nightclubs. Krakow’s seven repertory theaters as well as a plethora of independent companies stage plays in Polish. Krakow Opera Company performs two or three times a week except for the summer break from early July to late September. Ballet and other dance shows usually take place once a week or even less frequently.
Food in Krakow
The city can boast several hundred restaurants and over thousand other eateries from fast food joints to sushi bars. Good restaurants in Krakow are concentrated in the Old Town historic center, also nearby Kazimierz district. Most restaurant menus reflect international diet adapted to the country’s culinary tradition. Otherwise, despite deep inroads of foreign cuisines, Polish-style cooking prevails.
History of Krakow.
The oldest man-made artifacts excavated in Krakow date from early Stone Age, namely the Paleolithic period, some 200,000 years ago. Archeological evidence from ensuing ages proves that the place has been a major regional center since the Neolithic period 6,000 BC. Circa 990 Krakow, then already a thriving city, was incorporated into the emerging Polish state. In 1038 Krakow became the capital of Poland. In 1257 Prince Boleslav the Shy endowed the city with self-government and vital commercial privileges. Krakow formally remained the capital city of the Kingdom of Poland till the turn of the 18th century, but in fact the political center had moved to Warsaw in 1611. In years 1815 to 1846 Krakow constituted, together with its environs, an independent statelet called Krakow Republic, subsequently annexed to the Austrian Empire. By the end of the 19th century Krakow became the center of the Polish national awakening and in 1918 it was Poland’s first city that regained independence from foreign rule.