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Introduction

The Royal City of Krakow is the most recognizable Polish brand in the world - a magical city referred to as "the Athens of the North" or "the Slavic Rome".

For centuries it has attracted visitors from every corner of the globe with its unique atmosphere, rich traditions and the inexplicable genius loci which continues to infuse both artists and ordinary people with a special energy as they stroll through the city. In this space filled with history, art, architecture, legends and lyrical nostalgia, the historical past is harmoniously intertwined with the richness of contemporary artistic, cultural, academic, business and social life. Every year, more than 40 festivals and about 3,000 concerts and performances take place in Krakow. The cultural calendar abounds in prestigious events such as Misteria Paschalia, the Jewish Culture Festival or the Sacrum Profanum, recognized by the British magazine "Gramophone" as one of the world's most fascinating cultural events. Krakow has a virtually unlimited potential of tourist attractions. The city successfully combines historical prestige with the quality of life of a modern metropolis. In 2009, nearly 8 million guests visited the city. The rapid development of Krakow's transport and tourist infrastructure has made it a frequent venue of symposiums, conferences and business meetings.

Krakow's history mirrors Poland's national identity and resonates with a deep cultural heritage stretching back for a millennium. Nowhere else can you find so many treasures of Polish culture and such a dense concentration of monuments and traces of the lives of distinguished people, including scientists and artists. Fully one quarter of the nation's art collections are housed and maintained in Krakow! The largest monument site in Poland is also situated in the city - Wawel, which encompasses over 6,000 priceless architectural objects. Krakow's museums are home to the nation's largest collection of works of art, and they make up an integral part of the city's landscape. This collection contains such gems as Hans Dorn's 15th-century sky globe, and the most precious relic of the region's pre-Christian Slavic society - the stone Zbruch Idol, dating from the turn of the 10th century.

In acknowledgement of Krakow's contribution to world culture, the city's historical and architectural Old Town was registered by UNESCO in the 1st World Cultural Heritage List in 1978. The decision states that "Krakow grants to future generations this unique collection of monuments of ancient culture - outstanding works of art and architecture".

Thanks to its artistic atmosphere, extraordinary architecture, abundance of monuments and, most of all, its everyday celebration of culture and art, Krakow was awarded the prestigious title of "European Capital of Culture" by the European Union in 2000.

Following this momentous distinction, Krakow has recently received a large number of prestigious recommendations. Its historical Main Market Square was selected by the readers of "National Geographic" as one of the 30 most beautiful places in the world. As many as 16 restaurants from Krakow have been included in the red Michelin guidebook and, according to the American bi-weekly "Forbes", Krakow is Poland's second most attractive city for business.
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  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013