blog of Krakow,
Poland visitors and residents.
recent postings in the Krakow current blog.
here to write your contribution to our Krakow-watching common
of the entries to the Krakow In-Forum take full responsibility
for their content. The following does not necessarily
represent opinions of the Krakow Info editors.
Last November I visited Krakow with my wife. After sightseeing
we wanted to hear some local folk music. No way. There were
thirty-plus concerts on that weekend–classical, rock, jazz,
Jewish, flamenco, reggae, blues, pop, whatever. Except a
Krakow folk dance and song. As if there was no traditional
music in that part of Easter Europe, which obviously isn’t
true. Hey, people, we tourists want to hear it, at least some
I have seen the show of the Nativity scenes in the
Museum at the main square. In fact, there are two displays,
one exhibits the Krakow ‘szopkas’, the other – their
Italian counterparts. The latter, though beautiful, can
surprise nobody. The former, I think, do not resemble any
Nativity scenes found elsewhere in the world. Actually, the
Nativity hardly manifests itself in those wild architectural
fantasies. Unfortunately, possibly the best part eludes
foreigners. My Krakow friends looked ecstatic discovering
various features of the city’s historic buildings familiar
for the welcome
Christmas Day falls on December 25. It is preceded by
Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is
followed by Boxing Day on December 26. Some Eastern Orthodox
Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, which corresponds
to December 25 on the Julian calendar. December 25 as a
birthdate for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not thought
to be his actual date of birth. Sincerely.
Spirits of Krakow
This year I spent my first Polish Christmas,
with a family in Krakow. Quite an experience as they said
everyone should eat all twelve dishes served for Christmas
Eve’s dinner, which I duly
obeyed. Little consolation, compote and sweets counted among
the twelve. The downside was I’m not fond of sauerkraut with
peas, nor beetroot sour soup, nor breaded fish (the jellied
one–carp?–was fairly tasty). Personally, two things won me
over on that evening. The custom of
oplatek, sharing a wafer with each other among universal good
wishes, is a winner. Another are the Polish carols –
beautifully tuneful, notably when the whole family sings, and
there are so many of them.
Krakow is such a lively scene, concerts of music
take place every single day. If only I knew what is going on
in the time of my visit in mid-April! How can I plan my stay
in the city without any information about concerts, shows,
etc? Krakow Info at http://www.krakow-info.com/events.htm
is the most comprehensive and best-written listing of
Krakow’s events yet it doesn’t look beyond next month.
Other sites are even more shortsighted as they stick to the
current month. True, both opera and the philharmonic society
post their schedules well into 2007, respectively at
www.opera.krakow.pl and www.filharmonia.krakow.pl but that’s
all. Krakow has a festival bureau but don’t waste your time
on visiting its website – they don’t publish details of
My first surprise in Krakow – weather.
I arrived on the 6th of December and it was warm even for an
Italian, fifteen degrees centigrade. It had been colder in
Milan the day before. I asked the hotel
staff if it was normal for Krakow this time of the year and
they said no, in December the norm is frost and snow. My
second surprise – shit. The first afternoon in the city I
noticed excrements on of the central
square. Two fairly large lumps of feces lay on the
sidewalk swarming with shoppers and tourists and nobody cared.
And next day on a sightseeing tour in
the Kazimierz district I found it
really distracting to watch my every step for foul matter.
Apparently the locals don’t mind cleaning up after their
pets. But otherwise Krakow is delightful.
What do I fell about Krakow? Magic feeling, it's the city
where I dream to live. The city I would be proud to belong. I
guess today is one of the days I miss Krakow very much.
Congratulations for this space.
A Fountain of (De)lights
What a nice idea those fountains of light in Krakow. I spotted one
at dusk on my last day in the city, which was November 27. I had
just finished a sightseeing tour – the Royal
Road backwards, i.e. from the castle to
the barbican after visiting the former
and the cathedral that afternoon. And
there was some glow in the park to the
left. It was rather a warm evening, so we walked closer. And, wow,
it was blinking strands of light, fiber optics or something, that
imitated a fountain. Nothing really stunning but pretty pleasant to
watch for a while. But what made the moment truly special was some
classical music filling the air. My goodness, no seasonal noel crap
tunes, what relief!
The Desert in the Heart of Krakow
Why a good deal of the central square
remains closed for so long? It’s a pity that the beautiful part of
the plaza around the monument is off limits to the general public. I
keep coming to Krakow almost every month
for business and I remember the square’s fragment now being fenced
off as the most lively in the past, with the young flocking to the
monument like doves. I understand that the area was closed for
renovation something like a year ago. But for months the restoration
job has appeared finished and nothing happens on the site. Or
perhaps I’ve missed something? Possibly the place is teeming with
construction workers when I’m off and they disappear as soon as
I’m back in Krakow? Anyway, it’s saddening to see the focal area
of the city’s delightful Old Town
deserted and abandoned.
Is Full of Mysteries
We were in Krakow last week and it is an absolutely wonderful city.
There's a sculpture of a head near the clock tower
in the city square. It is on its side and
has two bands around the face, one across the bridge of the nose and
one right under the nose. What it represents? When we were at the Krakow
castle there was a room that had a ceiling that had a number of heads
from the townfolk sculpted into it. One of them had a band of cloth
over its mouth. What the significance of that is?
Global Refund in Krakow
I'm in Krakow now and I think that there is a scam going on here. I
found only one downtown shop that honestly will help with the proper
VAT refund forms. Most say ‘I don't know
or understand’, ‘Global Refund is bankrupt’, ‘We did up to 2
months ago’, or ‘We don't do that here’. When I was here 2
years ago, I spent some 5,000 zl and received a VAT refund for most
of this. I did have to get a real certification that was tied to a
specific business. I did not have any issues back in May 2004. Now,
perhaps it's the peak tourist season?
are just back from Krakow. Before we left i sent an email asking if
it was easy to change American Express travellers cheques. And they
said it was in a bank, well it is not! We spent a few hours trying
to do this. Our hotel seemed to think we
could change them in any bank too. We finally discovered that
Kantors only dealt in currency and only one
bank in the main square would do this. I
think it was the BCF bank. Please put this information on your
website as it was extremely annoying.
Yob Countrymen of Mine
am from England and I work permanently in Krakow. I wish the Krakow
authorities would empower the police to crack down hard on the
British yob countrymen of mine I am so ashamed of, that invade this
wonderful city with their disgraceful drunken behaviour. The
authorities in Prague had a similar problem maybe advice can be
sought from them.
Good Photos from Krakow
a thoroughly enjoyable visit to your wonderful city last week. The sights
and people were fantastic. To round off our
visit to Auschwitz and the Jewish
areas we decided to find Oskar Schindler's factory. Of course,
we photographed the wrong part of the building and wondered where we
could find or obtain GOOD, worthwhile, photos.
I have spent ages trawling the internet with little success.