Literary spots in Krakow

Krakow is one of these rare cities, unique on a world scale, where at every turn, one can come across traces of the literary past and the living, pulsating presence of contemporary literature that manifests itself as uncontrollable forms, crazy experiments, reckless attempts, bold provocations, and excesses that fill with a mix of awe and fright. It was here that the foundations of the Polish theatre were laid; it was here that the most important creators of the Polish culture studied and worked in the Renaissance and later periods; and it was here that Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer invented the term “liberature” at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, naming perhaps the most interesting phenomenon in the latest history of books. In the most elegant restaurants of Krakow, representatives of the literary creme de la creme conducted elegant discussions, and in the most lousy bars, poetes maudits got drunk and fallen stars reminisced about their past splendour. From here, Joseph Conrad set out to conquer world literature and it was here that Czesław Miłosz returned bathed in with glory, attracting the most eminent poets from all over the world to Krakow thanks to his magnetic influence.

Wawel, pic. Marcin Zięba

Wawel

The calcareous hill by the Vistula has been inhabited for 50,000 years, and archaeological research indicates that it was built-up...

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Wawel Chakra

Why do some visitors not seem interested in the royal monuments, but prefer to stand by the west wall in...

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Market Square, pic. Marcin Zięba

Market Square

One of the largest still functioning historic squares in Europe, vibrant with life, square in shape, with sides about 200-meters-long...

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St. Mary’s Basilica, pic. Grzegorz Ziemiański, www.fotohuta.pl

St. Mary’s Basilica

One of the largest and, after the Wawel Cathedral, the most important church in Krakow, erected in Gothic style in...

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Cloth Hall, pic. Marcin Zięba

Cloth Hall

A building in which Flemish and English cloths were sold since the 13th century. Rebuilt in the Renaissance shape with...

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Matras in 1947, pic. Tygodnik Ilustrowany, Biblioteka Jagiellońska

Matras Bookshop

The history of the oldest bookshop in Europe dates back to the 17th century, when Franz Jacob Mertzenich, a citizen...

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The Monument to Adam Mickiewicz, pic. KBF

The Monument to Adam Mickiewicz

Designed by Teodor Rygier, it was made on the centenary of the national poet’s birth, in 1898. In 1940, it...

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Collegium Maius, pic. Grzegorz Ziemiański, www.fotohuta.pl

Collegium Maius of Jagiellonian University

The first building of the Krakow Academy, situated on the corner of św. Anny and Jagiellońska streets. It currently houses the...

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The Church of Pauline Fathers at Skałka, pic. Grzegorz Ziemiański, www.fotohuta.pl

The Church of Pauline Fathers at Skałka

It houses a mausoleum of the most eminent creators of Polish culture and literature, including the author of one of...

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1 Dominikański Square

This is where Helena Modrzejewska (1840-1909), outstanding Polish actress, connected with the Stary Theatre in Krakow, was born; after leaving...

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Kanonicza Street, pic. Marcin Zięba

Kanonicza Street

One of the most historic and at the same time most picturesque streets of the Old Town. In the summer...

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The Princes Czartoryski Museum, pic. Marcin Zięba

The Princes Czartoryski Backstreet

A small, charming square on ul. Pijarska. One of the oldest museums in Poland, opened to the public in 1876, is...

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Pod Różą Hotel

The building’s facade holds a plaque commemorating the stay of Honoré de Balzac there, although it is worth noting that...

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Kossakówka

Home of the Kossak family since 1869, probably the best known artistic salon in the city, gathering painters, writers, and...

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22 Krupnicza Street

A famous address that appears in the memories of many authors of post-war literature. In the years 1945-1995, the building...

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6 Bogusławskiego Street

This is where Czesław Miłosz lived and worked in the years 1994-2004; it was here that he wrote Roadside Dog,...

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53 Karmelicka Street

This is the place where Stanisław Przybyszewski, “der geniale Pole”, lived with his wife Dagny Juel Przybyszewska (1867-1901), Norwegian pianist,...

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The Doubting Thomas Corner, pic. Marcin Zięba

The Doubting Thomas Corner

Painters’ favourite spot. Popular pubs and restaurants, such Dym and Loch Camelot are located here (also a cabaret and a...

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Bronowice

The most famous suburb of Polish literature. On the 20th of November 1900, the legendary wedding of poet Lucjan Rydel...

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Kazimierz, pic. Grzegorz Ziemiański, www.fotohuta.pl

Kazimierz

A separate city bordering on Krakow, founded in the 14th century, which became Krakow’s district in the early 19th century....

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The Eagle Pharmacy, pic. Tomasz Kalarus

The Eagle Pharmacy

Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s former pharmacy, located in the centre of the Krakow Ghetto during German occupation. It is a place where...

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4 Lipowa Street

This is one of the places where Steven Spielberg’s great movie – Schindler’s List – was shot. The film was...

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Bunkier Sztuki, pic. Grzegorz Mart

Bunkier Sztuki

One of the most important institutions presenting contemporary art in Poland. The building that houses it is one of the...

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Starmach Gallery, pic. M. Gardulski, by courtesy of Starmach Gallery

The Starmach Gallery

A specially restored historic interiors of the Jewish Zucker House of Prayer built in 1879-1881, now adapted for exhibition purposes...

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Liberature Reading Room

“Liberature” is a term coined by Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer to describe literature in which the text and its...

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The Nowy Theatre

One of the most dynamically developing non-institutional stages in Poland. The cosy character of the theatre, the friendly atmosphere, and...

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The Library of Polish Song

A municipal cultural centre carrying out multifaceted activity in the area of the promotion of culture; its main aim is...

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The Rosenstock Restaurant

Used to be located where the underpass in the vicinity of the Planty Park and the Słowacki Theatre is today;...

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Michalik’s Burrow

The name is derived from the fact that the artists’ favourite room in Apolinary Jan Michalik’s former Lviv Patisserie had...

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Piwnica Pod Baranami

In the 16th century, an inn was located here, and according to researchers of literature, it was visited by Jan...

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Nowa Prowincja, pic. Jan Graczyński

Nowa Prowincja

An iconic literary cafe on ul. Bracka 3-5, probably the most charming street of Krakow. This is where the spirit of...

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Piękny Pies, pic. Maciej Kobiela

Piękny Pies

A legendary place, initially located on ul. św. Jana, later on ul. Sławkowska, and ultimately moved to ul. Bożego Ciała; a place aspiring to...

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Lokator, pic. PIO

Lokator

The place continues the best traditions of Krakow’s literary cafes. Numerous soirées (including meetings with international and Polish authors –...

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Esplanada

A no-longer-existing place where representatives of the world of science, university professors, writers, musicians, and music lovers met. Futurists took...

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Massolit

A bookstore and literary cafe in one, referring to the tradition of café culture of the turn of the 19th...

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Cafe Szafe

A cafe standing out thanks to its rich cultural-educational activity and a remarkable decor: its guests sit in… old wooden...

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RIO, pic. Maciej Kobiela

RIO

A mandatory cafe address for many inhabitants of Krakow and not only them; in this small cafe, on just over...

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The “Gołębia 3” Cafe

For several years, the famous RYNNA POETYCKA (POETIC DRAINPIPE) operated here; it was a universal address for poetry lovers. The...

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