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News stories from Krakow, Poland.

 

Krakow Shops To Be Closed on Most Sundays. The Polish parliament has passed a bill which phases in a ban on Sunday shopping. In 2018 most stores in Poland will stay closed on 23 Sundays, namely March 11th, March 18th, April 1st, April 8th, April 15th, April 22nd, May 13th, May 20th, June 10th, June 17th, July 15th, July 22nd, August 12th, August 19th, September 9th, September 16th, September 23rd, October 14th, October 21st, November 11th, November 18th, and December 9th. In 2019 all shops will be open just on the last Sunday each month. Whereas in 2020 and later the Sunday shopping will be allowed only prior to Christmas, Easter, Corpus Christi, and the Assumption festival of August 15th. Some pharmacies and some groceries as well as bakeries, flower shops, and all gas stations can stay open every Sunday.

 

2017: Nearly 13 Million Visited Krakow. In 2017 Krakow received 12.9 million visitors, in that number over three million foreigners while 9.85 million tourists arrived from other parts of Poland. It’s 750,000 more visitors compared to 2016. The largest contingent of foreign tourists came from Germany, namely 13.2 percent of the total figure. Close second were Britons who made up 13.1 percent of last year’s foreign travelers in Krakow, followed by Italians (10.9 percent), Frenchmen (8.5 percent), and Spaniards (8 percent). In 2016 tourists left in Krakow 5.48 billion zlotys, an equivalent of about 1.3 billion euro, which amounts to roughly 4.5 percent of the city’s gross product, with 40,000-plus people employed in tourism-related services.

The Czartoryski Museum Abridged. Krakow’s famed Czartoryski Museum will reopen, fingers crossed, in December 2019. But in the meantime the public can see its most valuable items on a temporary show in adjacent Arsenal. The exhibition, called “Most Valuable. The Princes Czartoryski Collection.” displays such gems as Rembrandt’s ‘Landscape with the Good Samaritan’ and Lucas Cranach’s portraits of Polish royalty. Yet the museum’s crown jewel, Leonardo’s “Lady with an Ermine’, remains exhibited separately – in the main hall of the Krakow National Museum at 3 Maja street from May 19th, 2017. Meant as a cross-section of the Czartoryski collections, the show contains not only works of art but also rare antiquities, memorabilia connected with great men and Polish history, documents, and ancient decorative and functional art. The exhibition is to stay open till April 8, 2018. The building of the city arsenal of the 16th century stands opposite the main body of the Czartoryski Museum, across Pijarska street, and has been an annex to it since 1876, housing initially the Czartoryski Library and next, from 1975, the museum’s collection of antiquities.

Government Has Bought the Czartoryski Museum. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, Lady with an Ermine, has changed hands together with the entire collections of The Princes Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. Until recently the property of The Princes Czartoryski Foundation, they have been sold to the Polish government for euro 100 million, a fraction of an estimated value, on December 29th, 2016. The deal includes some 86,000 museum pieces and about 250,000 books and manuscripts as well as the buildings of The Czartoryski Museum and The Czartoryski Library, both situated in the historic center of Krakow. Upon the occasion Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Mr. Piotr Glinski, promised quick completion of the stalled modernization of The Czartoryski Museum and its long overdue reopening –as a branch of the Krakow National Museum which is to own its collections from now on.

Lady with an Ermine in Krakow's Czartoryskich museum

Krakow National Museum Is to Get a New Branch. The National Museum in Krakow will open a brand-new branch to display its collections of the Polish design and architecture, from fashion to furniture to interior decoration. It will be situated in the recently purchased building of Hotel Cracovia, opposite the main hall of the Krakow National Museum. The hotel, completed in 1965, is considered a good example of the Polish 20th-century modernist architecture. As the structure requires conversion and modernization, it will take years to open the new branch of the National Museum. But as early as next May the building is to host the first temporary exhibition.

Veit Stoss Altar

Stoss’ masterwork stripped, piece by piece. Krakow’s Veit Stoss’s grand altarpiece in St. Mary church, the world’s best medieval sculpture, is undergoing a thorough conservation which requires the temporary removal of its segments. Elements transferred to the restoration workshop are replaced with life-size photos showing the missing parts – cold comfort to visitors eager to see one of the top attractions of Krakow. The renovation of the 42-foot-high and 36-foot-wide masterpiece, which consists of 200 marvelous limewood sculptures, is to last till 2020 or longer and will cost well over three million euro. 

 

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