tradition Voted the Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
UNESCO has inscribed the Krakow tradition of
building szopka Nativity
scenes on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage of Humanity. By the end of November
the organization has awarded this status to
the Krakow time-honored social practice at its 2018
session on Mauritius. Every year on the first
Thursday of December
the Krakow constructors
of szopkas gather in the city's central square
at noon to show their newest works. The szopka
Nativity scenes are Poland’s first item ever
UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of
closed, tenants evicted.
In result of months-old legal dispute between the
Krakow Jewish community which owns it and recent
tenants, the 17th-century Isaac's Synagogue will
stay closed for the time being. Tenancy agreement
expired in May 2018 but Chabat-Lubavitch Foundation
maintains that its provisions have mandated an
automatic prolongation for another ten years. The
owners, Jewish Religious Community in Krakow, won
the case in the court on September 25, 2018 and
locked the Hassidc foundation out of the building in
July 2019. Isaac's Synagogue - its Polish name Synagoga Izaaka or Boznica Ajzykaat,
at 16 Kupa street and Izaaka street was funded by a fabulously rich local banker Isaac reb Yekele
in the 17th century. The stately baroque structure dates back to 1644
and had undergone a
major refurbishment in 1857. It was completely damaged by the
Nazis during German occupation of Krakow during WWII. The
synagogue has been reconstructed in the 1970s and the 1980s.
Recently, the building of the synagogue contained
offices of the Chabat-Lubavitch Foundation, a video-and-photography show titled ‘In Memory of Polish Jews’, and a souvenir shop.
Krakow companion guide
The Czartoryski Museum has reopened at last.
The Princes Czartoryski Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci's famous masterpiece, 'Lady with an Ermine', has reopened on December 20th, 2019, Its
renovation and modernization took
nine years. The Czartoryski Museum is now a branch of the Krakow National Museum Krakow.
As the daily number of visitors is limited one needs to book a ticket online well in advance.
Wavelo rental bikes scrapped December 31, 2019.
The city’s automated, self-service bike rental called Wavelo stops working in Krakow with the end of year 2019. Its operator, BikeU, cites a falling turnover as the reason for the termination. Last October it handled 68,740 rentals compared to 70,445 in October 2018. Unofficially, the Wavelo has suffered from the proliferation of rental electric scooters and its operator complained the Krakow municipality did too little to curb their usage in the
city’s historic center. BikeU has unilaterally terminated the contract it won in 2016 to run the Wavelo system till the end of 2024. The Krakow municipality is determined to resurrect the self-service bike rentals one way or another but it’s doubtful they will be able to sign up a new operator before the next year’s summer. The Wavelo could boast 1,500 special bikes and 168 automated stands scattered over the city, particularly in downtown.