Krakow, the fine print.
has been the city of the men of letters since time immemorial.
Long before the invention of the printing press it was a
prominent center of publishing, courtesy of assiduous monks
who copied volume after volume into parchment manuscripts.
Gutenberg’s revolution coincided with a period of intense
intellectual and cultural activity in Krakow and very soon
the city’s bookish types eagerly adopted print media. Ever
since Krakow has been a hub of publishing in
In 2013 UNESCO has named
the City of Literature.
The first Polish printed
publication was an astronomical calendar issued in Krakow in
1473 and produced by Casper Straube, a German migrant
printer – seventeen years after Gutenberg’s Bible and
three years before the first British book would appear in
print. The first book ever printed in the Cyrillic alphabet
also was published in Krakow, in 1483. In 1491 the city’s
first paper mill was launched to supply local budding print
In the first half of the
16th century a number of Krakow thriving printing houses
competed with each other on Poland’s expanding market. Jan
Haller’s publishing house printed 250 publication over two
decades from 1505 to 1525. Other successful printing
companies were owned by Florian Ungler, Hieronim Wietor, and
In the second half of the
16th century Krakow can boast nine big printing companies.
One o them belonged to the Piotrkowczyk family for nearly a
century, from 1578 to 1676, and next it has continued as the
university printing house till now. Other
long-lived and highly regarded printing company was run in
Krakow from 1875 to 1950 by three generations of the Anczyc
Krakow produced beautiful books also without the help of the
Baltazar Behem’s Codex of 1505, one of the
Jagiellonian Library’s many unique treasures.
Printing business in today’s Krakow.
The city has remained one of
Poland’s leading centers of printing industry. Krakow’s big
state-of-the-art printing plants flood the country with
glossy magazines and books as well as leaflets, calendars,
posters, textbooks, schoolbooks, or whatever. Plus a number
of local newspapers are printed in Krakow. Owing to the
competitiveness and quality of their services the city’s
leading printing companies also produce publications for
export to other countries of the European Union and beyond.
At the same time hundreds of
smaller printing houses and shops in Krakow cater for the
needs of customers who seek lower volumes of prints, from
low-circulation periodicals and books to company brochures
to business cards.