Springtime Trails

Year of Nicolaus Copernicus, Jan Matejko, Wisława Szymborska, Włodzimierz Tetmajer and Jerzy Nowosielski – all these official celebrations are the perfect opportunity to recall these remarkable individuals written indelibly in the history of Polish culture.

The commemorations also mean we can spend the coming months considering their importance and how we can continue to find them inspirational. As we pore over the manuscript of De revolutionibus…, we remember that frequently it is asking the right questions which takes the most courage.

The Copernican celebrations culminate in May with the Copernicus Festival, which seeks out truth in science and the humanities. This year’s theme is the cosmos, seen literally and symbolically as an unknown universe we can and must discover in our own minds.

Space themes also abound throughout the Film Music Festival – the perfect opportunity to explore the imaginations of composers as they build new cinematic and musical worlds. Kraków’s cinematic spring also features the Kraków Film Festival and Mastercard OFF CAMERA, presenting very different yet always honest and fresh takes of our reality.

The Misteria Paschalia Festival, marking its 20th anniversary…

…brings moments of delight and encourages us to reflect on how our way of thinking about early music has evolved over the last two decades. Deeply rooted in European traditions, the festival has developed its own, unique local character, fitting in perfectly with regional Easter rituals and traditions.

This year, the final concert of Misteria Paschalia falls on Orthodox Easter, giving the organisers a further opportunity to express solidarity with Kraków’s Ukrainian community. And this community is having a growing impact on Kraków’s cultural life: Ukrainian artists feature strongly at the Kraków Comic Book Festival, while April presents the latest edition of the East-West Theatre Festival, prepared by artists and managers from Ukraine.

Spring also brings scores of exhibitions…

…including those marking Year of Copernicus, a presentation at Jan Matejko House on the 125th anniversary of its foundation, and the story of the Jewish community in Podgórze before the Second World War. MOCAK recalls the avantgarde achievements of the Second Kraków Group: the exhibition features works by Jerzy Nowosielski, with the National Museum of Kraków also joining in with celebrations marking the centenary of his birth. Some of the greatest contemporary Polish artists of the 20th and 21st centuries – Maria Stangret, Andrzej Wróblewski, Edward Dwurnik, Wilhelm Sasnal and Jakub Julian Ziółkowski – appear in myriad contexts at exhibitions at Bunkier Sztuki, MOCAK, Cricoteka and the Manggha Museum.

Spring also brings scores of exhibitions…

Kraków is also joining in the celebrations of 700 years of Vilnius – the first major tribute to the city will be an exhibition exploring its difficult history between 1918 and 1948 prepared by the National Museum in Kraków. It’s always a great time to visit Wawel Royal Castle, this time to see the exhibition of Rococo sculptures from the collection of the L’viv National Art Gallery and a selection of Zdzisław Beksiński’s sculptures in the castle’s beautiful gardens.

Springtime exhibitions take us down various different paths, with Museum Night marking the 550th anniversary of the printing press in Poland (it started in Kraków, naturally!), while the annual Cracow Art Week KRAKERS is held under the banner “Art Always Wins!”.

Kraków`Culture Team

Spring ’23


16 stories about Kraków

Discover Kraków Culture

We step into 2023 with a spring in our step: the year marks several important anniversaries celebrated in Kraków and beyond. When we discuss them as part of the cycle of Cracovian events in “Kraków Culture”, we eschew ostentatious discourse, and instead we look at their works as a major contribution to contemporary civilisation, art and literature and a starting point of future artistic and scientific pursuits.