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Historic Centre of Cracow - Zabytek.pl


woj. małopolskie, pow. m. Kraków, gm. Kraków

The Historic Centre of Kraków features a preserved urban layout which is unique on a European scale, incorporating surviving elements which are the heritage of many different cultures and nations and which represent all the known architectural styles, from the Romanesque style to Modernism.

Notable features include the remnants of medieval defensive walls as well as numerous places of worship, monasteries, public buildings, urban palaces and tenement houses of the bourgeoisie, many of which are eminent designs created by renowned architects. Many of the buildings in question bear the signs of numerous redesigns, forming the material evidence of the city’s history and documenting the changing trends in the history of art. More importantly, all these structures coexist in a harmonious manner, creating single urban organism.

The entry on the World Heritage List encompasses three settlement complexes: the Wawel Hill, the medieval chartered city of Kraków and the town of Kazimierz (including the suburb of Stradom). The Wawel Hill, topped with the Royal Castle and the Cathedral, has served as the seat of the Polish kings and as their necropolis. It is a place of immense importance for the Polish history and national identity as well as for the history of both medieval and early modern Europe, due to the family connections of the monarchs who reigned here and the political events that have taken place throughout the ages. Both Kraków and Kazimierz have been chartered according to the Magdeburg rights back in the Middle Ages. Located in a spot where the western and eastern cultural influences converged, Kraków remained an important centre for culture and crafts as well as a crucial administrative, commercial and academic hub, with the Jagiellonian University in Kraków being one of the oldest universities in Europe and an educational institution of international repute. With its numerous historical monuments linked with the Jewish culture and religion, Kazimierz is a living proof of the multiculturalism of the city of Kraków.

The Historic Centre of Kraków is notable for the high degree of authenticity of its topographical layout as well as the preserved medieval street plan. The historical landmarks of the Wawel Hill, the Town Hall Tower and numerous churches continue to dominate the city skyline. An outstanding feature of the city is the state of preservation of its numerous and highly valuable historical monuments, many of which still boast their original fittings. Another notable feature is that not only is the material heritage of the city well cared for, but also that efforts are being made to preserve the customs and traditions which define the character of the city, setting it apart from other similar centres.

The Historic Centre of Kraków was included on the World Heritage List in 1978 during the 2nd session of the World Heritage Committee in Washington (dec. CONF 010 VIII.38).

Entry made on the basis of criterion IV:

Criterion (IV):

Kraków is an urban architectural ensemble of outstanding quality, in terms of both its townscape and its individual monuments. The historic centre of the town admirably illustrates the process of continuous urban growth from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The property is accessible to visitors.

Compiled on the basis of materials of the National Heritage Board of Poland, 30-11-2015

Category: cultural

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: UNESCO World Heritage

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_12_UN.29