Krakow, once the capital of the Kingdom of Poland, famous thanks to historic events and a rich religious culture. The city is a symbol and a sanctuary of the nation’s life.
Krakow expresses the identity of the Polish nation in a distinctive manner – hence its significance in the national culture; this extraordinary historical monument contains all artistic eras, which manifested themselves here in an unparalleled manner. Krakow is also the city of Poland’s oldest university, Nicolaus Copernicus and pope John Paul II.
Once the seat of kings, the place of their coronation and eternal rest; the keystone of the country’s history.
Krakow had strong ties to European culture as early as the 10th century, and – by means of a comparative analysis - numerous threads of these ties found their way into this work. We can easily treat this unique Polish city as a pars pro toto of European culture. Since the medieval times, Krakow was a home for artists from countries such as Italy, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Flanders, or the Netherlands.
The city was always open to European culture and art. Here, artistic currents and directions intertwined and fused, creating a unique, colorful mosaic, enriching the color palette of European art. Krakow’s history shows us that art is not the property of one nation or country; art is a universal property.
Krakow’s Christian culture contributed to the priestly vocation of Karol Wojtyła and episcopal work of the future Pope John Paul II, who has spoken about culture on numerous occasions.
Cultural heritage enclosed within Krakow’s city walls should be our greatest national treasure, speaking to every generation with its unique voice.
Michał Rożek, A Guide to Landmarks of Krakow, 2010
Michał Rożek is a thoroughbred Krakowian, historian and historian of art and culture. Graduate from the Jagiellonian University -- doctorate (1972) and habilitation (1979); student of Professor Karol Estreicher, researcher, expert and enthusiast concerning all things Krakow, especially its history. For years he was also known for his erudite lectures, in which he beautifully discussed our national history, recalling its outstanding leaders, pointing to its European roots and our identity. Advisor and consultant for the National Pantheon Foundation, lecturer at the Academic Teahouse – a series of academic sessions organized by the National Pantheon Foundation and the Polish Academy of Sciences for teachers and youth. Author of several books, including the popular Guide to the landmarks and culture of Krakow, and hundreds of academic papers. Also a reviewer. Author of excellent texts for the Dziennik Polski [Polish Daily] which grabbed the attention many admirers of Krakow. Passionate about conversations over coffee. A steady and punctual regular of the Santos Café on Grodzka St. and Café Art on Zakopianka St., located off the Planty Park just behind the Słowacki Theatre.