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Mathematicians bench in Krakow 

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Mathematicians bench in Krakow, Poland

Mathematicians bench in the Krakow Planty gardens. 

Krakow’s central Planty ring of gardens, surrounding the Old Town historic district, have many benches but one of them is very special. Situated at the foot of the Wawel Hill beneath the Royal Castle and the Krakow Cathedral, in front of the redbrick neo-Gothic building of a seminary, it’s occupied 24/7. Two gesticulating men seated permanently on the wooden bench appear lost in an eternal dispute. They probably wouldn’t notice you even if they weren’t made of bronze.


Many benches of the Planty gardens commemorate writers, Polish and foreign, with metal plates screwed to backrests, befitting the fact that Krakow has been named the UNESCO City of Literature in 2013. Yet the pair of bronzes near the Wawel Royal Castle honor two outstanding Polish mathematicians of the 20th century, Stefan Banach and Otto M. Nikodym. Krakow’s park-bench memorial to them was erected on October 14th, 2016 and has immediately become popular with the residents and tourists alike. Actually, it commemorates the centenary of one wartime evening in 1916 when mathematician Hugo Steinhaus, strolling in Planty gardens, overheard two young people discussing abstract mathematics. He joined them and shared a math problem which bothered him for some time, so much to his surprise a few days later the younger of his new acquaintances, Stefan Banach, then 24, called upon him and provided the solution


Krakow is a math stronghold, 

Soon after the rebirth of independent Poland, Steinhaus and Banach moved to Lwow in the eastern half of the country (now the city of Lviv in western Ukraine) where they would become the pillars of the famous Lwow school of mathematics. Nevertheless “the Mathematicians bench” in the Planty gardens is also a memorial to the Krakow traditions of mathematics.

Soon after its re-establishment in 1400, the Krakow University (Jagiellonian) became the leading center of mathematics in Europe, i.e. in the world. Also in the 20th century and presently the Jagiellonian University has been a beacon in the realm of the queen of all sciences. In the interwar period (1918 to 1939) a group of Krakow mathematicians - Stanislaw Zaremba, Tadeusz Wazewski, and Franciszek Leja among others - called the Krakow school of mathematics, made a name for themselves primarily in such areas as classical analysis, differential equations, and analytic functions.

Also renowned astronomer Tadeusz Banachiewicz (born 1882, died 1954) a professor at the Krakow University, made a name for himself internationally as a mathematician. Banachiewicz has introduced a new kind of matrix algebra he named “cracovians” to honor his city. In recognition of his diverse achievements he got a lunar crater Banachiewicz and an asteroid 1286 Banachiewicz named after himself.


Krakow Planty Gardens

Krakow's Institutions of Higher Education

Schools in Krakow

Jagiellonian Library
Poland's oldest library boasts 4.5 million volumes and its unique collection of medieval manuscripts and ancient books contains tens of thousands priceless items.

Krakow University
Poland’s oldest university with Poland’s oldest university with its 6,700 faculty and over 42,000 students is the country’s second largest institution of higher education and the best one.


Krakow Old Town Historical District
Poland's prime tourist attraction and a must-see in Central Europe boasts numerous world-class monuments, charming vistas, delightful atmosphere, and the best restaurants.


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