Elemental Summer

History and modernity, high art and pure entertainment, fun and solemnity – summertime in Kraków has plenty of attractions for locals and visitors alike!

In early July, we celebrate the centenary of Wisława Szymborska! Although she was no great fan of anniversaries and wouldn’t have wanted a grand ceremony, she’d have been delighted by the monument prepared for her by the city: the Wisława Szymborska Park – a brand-new green space in the very heart of Kraków, featuring numerous elements recalling the poet’s life and work – opens on 2 July.

And that’s just the start of Cracovian events, exhibitions and meetings held as part of the Year of Wisława Szymborska. We’ll certainly be celebrating the Nobel laureate during the Miłosz Festival in July!

But the myriad countless summertime events start in late June. As usual, the summer holidays kick off with the Wianki in Krakow music festival, immediately followed by the Jewish Culture Festival, bringing back the finale concert Shalom on Szeroka Street after a break forced by the pandemic! In July, we will enjoy the EtnoKraków / Crossroads and ULICA festivals, with more serious accents from the Festival of Polish Music, Musica Divina and Music in Old Cracow. Good weather inspires good moods and trips to the countryside, and where better to enjoy early music than at the annual festivals in Stary Sącz and Biecz?

Treasures of Kraków’s heritage, usually hidden in dark corners of churches and monasteries, are revealed during Cracovia Sacra Night…

…this year focusing on floral motifs. Myriad exhibitions, concerts and workshops remind us of Kraków’s contribution to Europe’s traditions of sacral art. The exhibition at the Monastery at the Princes Czartoryski Museum takes a different approach to presenting art: it is a veritable cabinet of curiosities and unusual items whose value mainly lies in their stories and the emotions they invoke.

The Summer Jazz Festival Kraków runs over the course of two months, and the kaleidoscope of daily concerts includes special events and performances by stars of the genre. An additional attraction is Jazz Night, drawing music fans to outdoor concerts and jam sessions at local clubs.

This year, Kraków hosts even more stages and outdoor concert venues than usual…

This year, Kraków hosts even more stages and outdoor concert venues than usual: the Vistula Boulevards, parks and cultural institutions and postmilitary and postindustrial spaces resound with pop, rock and electronica. From the Białoprądnicki Manor to the Nowa Huta Cultural Centre, and from the Bednarski Park to the Polish Aviation Park – Kraków resonates with the rhythms of the summer!

But let’s get back to anniversaries: in 2023, we also recall Włodzimierz Tetmajer – artist, author, ethnographer, politician and independence activist from the Young Poland period. The Museum of Krakow has prepared a cycle of events, with the monographic exhibition at the Krzysztofory Palace at the centre.

This year, Kraków hosts even more stages and outdoor concert venues than usual…

And Tetmajer – the Host in Stanisław Wyspiański’s The Wedding – has more surprises in store this year. Meanwhile, the National Museum in Krakow and the International Cultural Centre recall the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by presenting exhibitions as part of the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius. The Grand Duke of Lithuania Władysław Jagiełło was crowned King of Poland at Wawel Cathedral here in Kraków, and it was thanks to him that Vilnius was granted city rights.

But events in the great outdoors, in the city’s streets and squares, concert halls and museums and moments of contemplation in churches and monasteries are not all: Kraków tempts with picnics and recreation in the green spaces, parks and reservoirs in the city and further afield. Let’s make the most of the summer with its long, warm days and evenings!

Kraków`Culture Team



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The year 2023 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.