Host City - Krakow


Kraków is a city with county rights, located in southern Poland on the Vistula river, as the second largest city in Poland both with reard to the population and surface area. It is a former capital of Poland, Royal Capital City and necropolis of Polish kings, as well as the capital of Małopolska Region.

The city is located at a meeting point of several geographic regions: Sandomierz Basin, West-Beskidian Piedmont and Polish Jurassic Highland.

The history of Kraków as an organised urban centre begins around the 7th and 8th centuries Anno Domini. To this day, we can admire the remains left behind the initial settlers in the form of two mounds: Krakus and Wanda. Another crucial date in the history of the city was its reception of city rights modelled on the Magdeburg Law on the 5th June 1257, allowing the formation of the current shape of the Old Town. As a result, the Wawel Castle became the seat of the contemporary ruler of Poland. The city's location at an intersection of trade routes: from Rus' to Germany and the Kingdom of Bohemia (today's Czech Republic), and from Pomerania to Hungary, Turkey and the Balkans, allowed its fast economic growth.

The capital city of Poland was at the peak of its development in the Polish Golden Age (16th century). In those times, Kraków was – as it is now – the city of science and culture. It attracted the greatest artists, whose works can still be seen today: The altarpiece by Veit Stoss or the cloister at the Wawel Castle, designed by Bartolommeo Berrecci. The history of Kraków is inextricably linked to the history of the Polish nation.

After the Golden Age, the power of the res publica came to a close. The Swedish Deluge, economic downfall and partitions of Poland took their toll on the fate of the country and the city. However, its residents never forgot the times of Kraków's greatness. Perhaps this is why the city was always a real patriotic lair of the nation. This is whence the First Cadre Company marched, led by Józef Piłsudski, which is why this is also where the invader's army was disarmed on the Independence Day.

Today, Kraków is a modern and developing city and a melting pot where tradition of indigenous residents is mixed with student's avant-garde. However, thanks to a great number of monuments, excellently preserved in the city's layout, it has never lost its majestic character. Krakow is simply magical.

Kraków in numbers:

– surface: 326.8 sq. km

– population: 759 800

– population density: 2323 ppl/sq. km

– 4 administrative units: Śródmieście, Krowodrza, Podgórze, Nowa Huta – jointly divided into 18 districts

– highest point: Piłsudski Mound on Sowiniec – 383.6 m above sea level

– lowest point: Potok Kościelnicki estuary – 187 m above sea level

– tallest building: Cracovia Business Center 105 m

– longest street: Igołomska 9.5 km

– Jagiellonian University is the second oldest university in this part of Europe, established: 12th May 1364.

Climate in Krakow, Poland  

Krakow enjoys a temperate climate with features of both European marine west coast and more severe continental conditions of Eastern Europe. In other words, weather systems built over the Atlantic bring humid air masses, relatively cold in summer and warm in winter. Whereas dry continental air from the East produces hot summer days and frosty winter ones. And airflows from the Mediterranean and northern Africa result in summer heatwaves and pretty balmy weather in winter, while polar systems bring about chilly days in summer and severe frost in winter. So, even though daytime temperature highs hover around comfortable 20 Celsius (centigrade) most of the year save winter (when they are 0C more or less), there are also weeks of summer heat above 30C as well as winter frosts below minus 20C.

Money that is good to have in Krakow. 

Poland is a member state of the European Union but the euro zone stretches beyond its western and southern borders. So the country has its own currency, zloty, which is the nation’s legal tender. Nevertheless some establishments, notably hypermarkets, accept payments in euros. 

Zloty can be abbreviated to zl though PLN, the international symbol of the Polish currency, is widely used in Poland as well. 

The Polish currency system. 

A zloty is divided into one hundred smaller units called grosz (abbreviation gr).  

The Polish money is available in the following denominations: one-grosz, two-grosz, five-grosz, ten-grosz, twenty-grosz, and fifty-grosz coins; one-zloty, two-zloty, and five-zloty coins and ten-zloty, twenty-zloty, fifty-zloty, 100-zloty, 200-zloty, and 500-zloty bank notes. 

 Healthcare  

Krakow enjoys a well-deserved reputation of a leading center of medical sciences in Poland. Its Jagiellonian University’s School of Medicine, set up in the 14th century, is the country’s oldest and arguably the best one. And the university hospital ranks among Poland’s top health-care organizations, also owing to its extensive web of exchange programs that facilitate knowledge sharing and allow its doctors, surgeons, and dentists to study and practice in medical centers elsewhere in Europe and in the USA. The city’s other hospitals and numerous clinics do their best to keep abreast of modern medicine. And their equipment has been systematically modernized in recent years.

Eating the Krakow Way. 

Polish daily diet of choice has been traditionally rich in proteins and even richer in starch. On the Krakow tables the former usually materializes in red meat, eggs, cheese, and sausages, whereas the latter as bread, potatoes, and various noodles, pies and dumplings.

There are three main meals in Poland: the morning sniadanie (a breakfast), the early afternoon obiad (a dinner/lunch), and the early evening kolacja (a supper). In between they may be supplemented with a lighter drugie sniadanie (the second breakfast) and a podwieczorek (tea). 

Food in Krakow

Traditional Polish cuisine flows from the melting pot of diverse influences as befits country at the world crossroads, inhabited by traveled and novelty-happy entrepreneurs, merchants, soldiers and worldly gentry. In the metropolitan Krakow considerable contingents of immigrant Germans, Italians, Jews, Hungarians, Scotsmen, Czechs, Austrians, etc. also left their mark on the city’s menu over ages. Yet, in fact, sophisticated chefs at the royal court and the courts of Poland’s fabulously rich and many magnates seemed the true trendsetters, while Polish lesser nobility, famed in Europe for their love of lavish parties with plenty of best food and drink, followed suit. Anyway, medieval German influences, 16th-century Italian imports, 17th-century Oriental fads, 18th-century French vogues–all are traceable in contemporary Krakow cuisine. In the 19th c Krakow belonged to the Austrian Empire, thus heavy Vienna sways. And the last half-century’s massive influx from the countryside popularized folk cooking. 

Traditional Polish cuisine at its best features abundance of domestic herbs and exotic spices. As hunting was the Polish favorite pastime, game dishes proved overly popular. The same wild mushrooms. Freshwater fish and crayfish used to supersede seafood in landlocked Krakow.

Shopping in Krakow 

Krakow’s central Old Town historic district, mostly turned into a pedestrian precinct, is stuffed with shops of all sorts. Diverse retail stores line every street in the area teeming with shoppers. At its main commercial strips – Florianska Street, Szewska Street, Grodzka Street, or Slawkowska Street – various retailers are crammed into almost every available space: front and the backyard, ground floor, upstairs, cellar, even attic here and there. Their wares vary from designer garb to jewelry to antiques to books to sportswear to everyday necessities.

At the same time the natives have acquired a taste for brand-new shopping malls in Krakow and sizeable shopping centers accompanying the giant hypermarkets foreign retailing giants such as France’s Carrefour and Britain’s Tesco studded the city with. Nonetheless, in every part of Krakow, traditional marketplaces swarm as ever with bargain hunters and shoppers looking for produce fresh from the farm.  

Note: Shops in Poland are closed on major national holidays, namely New Year, January 6th, Easter, May 1st, May 3rd, Whit Sunday, Corpus Christi, August 15th, November 1st, November 11th, and Christmas (December 25th and December 26th). Pharmacies and gas stations stay open on those days. 

 Source: http://www.krakow.pl http://www.krakow-info.com

Conference Venue
Venue - Jagiellonian University
The Jagiellonian University is the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe.