About Polska EN

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an insider guide for outsiders


• Gdynia •• Gdańsk 2 1


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• Szczecin

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•  Bydgoszcz fm4 • Toruń 3

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• Poznań 3 te


• Łódź

ls1 un11 in1 Legend un UNESCO World Heritage Sites te Theater festivals fm Film festivals mu Music festivals sk Art festivals sp Sports events in Other events ls National Parks and Nature reserves

Forests National Parks areas Landscape Parks areas Nature 2000 areas

• Wrocław 1  5

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Contents Polska & Poles


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• Warszawa 7  5

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Business, Science & Innovations

• Lublin

Business 177 Design 184 Science & Innovation 188


• Rzeszów un13

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Places Warszawa (Warsaw) 48 Łódź 62 Katowice & Silesia 72 Kraków (Cracow) 84 Rzeszów 96 Lublin 102 Białystok & Podlasie 110 Olsztyn & Warmia 118 Bydgoszcz & Toruń 128 Tricity (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) 136 Szczecin 148 Poznań 156 Wrocław 166

Białystok  1

Highlights 4 Polska – Agains all logic 22 10 reasons to go to Poland 30 Wild beasts of Poland 34 Poles – romantic conquerors 40

Culture Cinema 193 Pop music 198 Visual arts 202 Contemporary Classical Music 206 Architecture 209 Literature 214 Performing arts 218

Sport & Fitness 222 Food 230

UNESCO World Heritage Sites un6 Historic Centre of Cracow un7 Historic Centre of Warsaw un8 Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park un9 Medieval Town of Toruń un10 Old City of Zamość un11 The Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski

un12 Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines un13 Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska un14 Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine

Theater festivals

Film festivals

Sports events

te1 International Divine Comedy Theatre Festival – Cracow te2 International Theatre Festival Dialog – Wrocław te3 Malta Festival Poznań te4 The Shakespeare Festival – Gdańsk te5 Warsaw Theatre Meetings Festival

fm1 D ocs Against Gravity Film Festival – Warsaw, Wrocław fm2 G dynia Film Festival fm3 P KO OFF CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema – Cracow fm4 T he International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE – Bydgoszcz fm5 The T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival – Wrocław

sp1 H erbalife Ironman 70.3 Gdynia sp2 H ubert Jerzy Wagner ­Memorial – new host each year sp3 P olish Grand Prix in motorcycle speedway racing – Toruń, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Warsaw sp4 PZU Warsaw Marathon sp5 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup – Zakopane sp6 T our de Pologne

Music festivals

Other events

mu1 O ff Festival – Katowice mu2 O pen’er Festival – Gdynia mu3 T auron New Music F ­ estival – Katowice mu4 U nsound Festival – ­Cracow

in1 C astle Party, Bolków in2 Country & Folk Picnic, Mrągowo in3 Re-enactment of Battle of Grunwald in4 Re-enactment of 1920 Battle of Warsaw in5 St John’s Fair, Gdańsk

un1 Białowieża Forest un2 Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork un3 Centennial Hall in Wrocław un4 Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica un5 Auschwitz Birkenau, ­ erman Nazi C ­ oncentration G and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)

Festivals and events

Art festivals sk1 Contexts – The International Sokołowsko Festival of Ephemeral Art sk2 Cracow Photomonth Festival sk3 SURVIVAL Art Review – Wrocław sk4 W arsaw Under Construction Festival

National Parks and Nature Reserves ls1 Barycz Valley Landscape Park (Stawy Milickie Nature Reserve, 12 refuges in the Natura 2000 scheme) ls2 Białowieża National Park ls3 Biebrza National Park (Biebrza Swamp – Czerwone Bagno Nature Reserve) ls4 Bieszczady National Park ls5 Bory Tucholskie National Park, Bory Tucholskie ­ eserve UNESCO Biosphere R

ls6 Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia (Bear Cave) Nature Reserve ls7 Kampinos National Park / Kampinos Forest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ls8 Mazurian Landscape Park, Łuknajno Lake UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ls9 Ojców National Park ls10 Rospuda Valley (Natura 2000: Augustów Refuge)

ls11 Słowiński National Park / Słowiński UNESCO Biosphere Reserve / Natura 2000: Słowińska Refuge ls12 Tatra National Park, Tatra UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ls13 Warta Mouth National Park (Słońsk Nature Reserve) ls14 Wigry National Park ls15 Woliński National Park ls16 Wyczółkowski Cisy Staropolskie Nature Reserve


Warsaw-Powiśle club seen from Poniatowskiego Bridge. The disused former WarszawaPowiśle train station ticket office gained a new lease of life and is now one of the most popular bars in Warsaw •

6 Poland stretches from the sea to the Tatra Mountains. Poland’s Baltic Sea beaches are a great holiday destination •



Warmia and Mazuria Poland's land of a thousand lakes. Jeziorak is Poland’s longest and sixth-largest lake (by surface area) •


10 Cracow – a city of tradition and fun. The Vistula riverside below the Wawel Royal Palace is a favourite gathering spot during the summer •


12 The Gdańsk seaport is one of the largest on the Baltic Sea. Its northern section can accommodate the largest ships sailing on the Baltic. Poland’s most modern deep sea ­container terminal, DCT Gdańsk was opened in 2007 •



Poland boasts 15 airports, and Wrocław Copernicus Airport is its fifth busiest in terms of passenger boardings. Six airlines provide regular service to the Wrocław airport with numerous charter flights offered during the summer. Copernicus Airport has won the Business Traveller Award for two years running •


16 Warsaw – a bustling modern ­capital full of incredible history •


18 The Tatras, laying at the PolishSlovak border, are among the most picturesque mountains in Poland, and are included in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. Tourists can climb a total of 92 peaks, and the Polish side of the mountains hosts over 3 million visitors annually. Morskie Oko is the largest lake in the Tatra Mountains •




White storks – well known and much loved


thousand pairs

of white storks live in Poland It's about

20% of the world’s population

Migration Storks (left) spend about five months out of the year in Poland. In ­August, their migration begins. Before flying south, storks congregate in large flocks (known as sejmiki – or caucuses), which gather all the birds from an area. The caucus locations are chosen instinctively by the flocks. Leaving Poland, the majestic birds fly south-east, crossing the Bosphorus, the Middle East, the Sinai Peninsula en-route to Eastern and Southern Africa. Their destinations include Sudan, Chad, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa •

Storks cover


thousand km

during their migration.

In favorable conditions storks can fly up to


km a day


Polska, Against All Logic and Standards Poland lies on the Vistula River And along this river all the more dramatic or less dramatic events played out that made Poland the thoroughly European country it is today. It’s not just the neon signs of multinational companies that have been brightening Polish streets for a few decades, but the transformation in the Poles ­themselves.


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above: Driving by Cracow’s ­history and its protagonists: from construction workers of Nowa Huta, to Pope John Paul II, to the Nobel Prize winning poet Czesław Miłosz • left: The 1989 High Noon election poster for the Solidarity movement, featuring Gary Cooper, was designed by Tomasz Sarnecki. Its message was clear: vote to help bring down Communism •

Polish creativity, ingenuity, enthusiasm and openness made this country, long ignored in the international league tables, shine in entrepreneurship, innovativeness and efficiency rankings. On a wave of solidarity with the rest of the world, Poland pulled itself out of a deep depression caused by communism and the lack of access to more than two TV channels. All

thanks to the determination of the Poles, who drew on their rich tradition and managed to survive the worst moments – even power outages and meat shortages. Poland lies on the Vistula River. It was on this river that contemporary Polish role models grew up, like Pope John Paul II and Lech Wałęsa, although the icon of free Poland today is footballer


Polska & Poles

top left: The Polish alphabet is based on the Latin, and includes 32 letters. Photo: the oldest Polish alphabet, Trinity College, Cambridge University collection •

Robert Lewandowski. Nobel Prize winners Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz gave Poland the reputation of a land of poets. Literary growth is fostered by the sonorous Polish language, used by over 40 million people in Poland and abroad. Knowing the expansiveness of the Poles, it can’t be ruled out that they use the language somewhere else in our galaxy, but that has not been confirmed. Polish is based on the Latin alphabet, and was shaped over the centuries until it finally became one of the official languages of the European Union. Its unique rules for

left: Bilingual sign with the names of Kashubian villages. Areas inhabited by national, ethnic or regional language minorities may use bilingual signs with minority language local names •

declensions and conjugation amaze anyone brave enough to dare tame the language. They don’t understand how a group of friends can have supper together, where all of them of whatever gender jedzą – are eating – but when the meal is over the women will have eaten – jadły –while the men jedli. Foreigners are also puzzled by the over-use of diminutives. For a little enjoyment in life Poles don’t just spend money (pieniądze) but 'tiny' money (pieniążki), for coffee sip kawka instead of kawa, and can’t go on a walk (spacer)


Polska & Poles

above: Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw, located in the Ostrogski Palace. A part of its collection has been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The multi-media exhibition incorporates the ideas of the ‘open museum’ movement where visitors determine their route through the exhibition •

above: The Polish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 was designed by the Warsaw-based WWAA studio and prominently featured the theme of folk-art

without it turning out to be just a little stroll (spacerek). Polish occurs in various patois and dialects that developed under geographical and demographical conditions. The partitions from 1772 to 1918 led to the Germanization and Russification of the language which can still be sensed today. In Silesia and Pomerania today some firmly believe that szneka z glancem – a frosted curlicue bun – is a native Polish term, when it really comes from the German for snail (Schnecke) with a glaze (Glanz). There is one other officially recognized language in Poland - Kashubian

paper cutouts adapted to the language of contemporary architecture •

- it is spoken by over a hundred thousand Kashubs who are the descendants of Slavic Pomeranian tribes which inhabited the ­Baltic coast during medieval times. For centuries Poland was regarded as a highly tolerant country, leading national minorities to seek shelter here during turmoil in history – such as Tatars, Karaites, Lemkos, Roma – and even, more recently, the accordion – playing singer Czesław Mozil. And the enormous Jewish heritage lives on in the memory and culture of Poles. Polin, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a new institution in War-


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saw, is a must-visit for its chronicle of Jewish and Polish coexistence in this land. Poland lies on the Vistula River. The river links the mountainous south with the coastal north. The variety of landscapes the country offers must make an impression on even the most hardened tourist who ‘has seen it all’ on the Internet. The soaring Tatras, the enchanting Bieszczady and the mysterious Karkonosze mountains offer fresh air and gorgeous scenery to capture in spectacular photos sure to score waves of likes on social media. The aroma of grilled fish

wafting all along the broad, sandy Baltic beaches makes one want to linger by the shore for just one more trout or flounder. The Mazurian lake country satisfies the most demanding seeker of adventures, backwoods solitude and mosquitoes. Even advertising seems incapable of spoiling Poland’s beautiful landscapes. Hoardings, banners and boards with inscriptions like ‘Plumbing and Consulting’ are so omnipresent that even the most refined aesthetes no longer notice them. Poland lies on the Vistula River. The Vistula and its tributaries continually


Polska & Poles

Midsummer’s Eve (Noc Świętojańska, St. John’s Eve) is celebrated on the night between 23 and 24 June. It is a great social occasion which

draws throngs to riversides to set wreaths afloat •

enrich the earth, allowing agriculture to flourish. It’s no surprise that until recently Poland was by and large an agrarian country. Folk culture and crafts rapidly grew and blossomed. The main Polish export goods were painted Easter eggs and Highlanders’ leather slippers, and the cultural showcase was the folk song-anddance group Mazowsze. Poland today is

a contemporary country whose young people have shed the complexes of the past and are taking on the world on their own terms. This doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten their folk heritage, as witnessed by the splendid music group Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa, loved around the world. Poland lies on the Vistula River. A river as unregulated and unpredictable


Polska & Poles

Warsaw’s Multimedia Fountain Park is a popular place to relax •

as the nature of the Poles. Most of the young people avoid the beaten path, which is why Poland is known for innovative solutions, original scientific thought, and a rich cultural life manifested in the country’s numerous festivals. This all comes from the incredible energy lurking in this constantly evolving country. Poland’s opening to the world expanded the intellectual horizons of young people inspired by foreign travel, studies and romance. The result is a flowering of literature, music and art. The economy is expanding, and despite their innate

pessimism, Poles are becoming a happier and happier people. Maybe they need to be reminded sometimes, but it’s a country worth working for. Poland lies on the Vistula River. To be certain of that you don’t need GPS. It’s enough to come here, guided by your: (*tick where appropriate) romantic spirit, common sense, or curiosity. Any reason is good enough to come see what Poland is really like. And there are lots of reasons •


Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1996  Wisława Szymborska Polish poet, essayist, translator, winner of 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature


Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. Maria SkĹ‚odowska-Curie Two-time Nobel Prize winner (Physics and Chemistry)


Polska & Poles

10 reasons to go to Poland by Fanny Vaucher – graphic artist, author of the Pilules polonaises blog


Discovering what history really means. Poland’s history is so rich, there is hardly a stone without a dense and dramatic story to it. Every neighbourhood of every town seems to have its own tumultuous history and its never-forgotten heroes. Sometimes it makes me dizzy how the past is still so much part of the present.


Meeting a free-roaming bison during a forest walk. Whereas most European bison are kept in zoos and parks, in Poland they live free in the primeval forests of the east. The possibility of seeing those silent herds grazing among the tall oaks, or of being surprised by the silhouette of a huge bison cutting through the snowy landscape…


The Ł and the Ą. The particular diacritic marks of the Polish alphabet are evidence of beauty on earth. Well, OK, I am fond of typography, which is just another good reason for going to Poland, the land of great font designers and typographers.


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(The new cool of) Apple cider. You always thought this weird bubbly drink was merely the little pleasure of faraway countryside uncles, until you spend hot nights cooling down with it on the Bulwar by the Vistula. It tastes like a million sweet apples from the Polish orchards, and you might only stop when your stomach really can’t take it anymore.


Love. Well, what can I say. Yes, of course, you will fall in love. Yes, of course, it will be the most romantic love of your life. Yes, of course, ‘Poland’ means ‘love’. And yes, it will change your life forever. Out of love, you will learn Polish and consider a three-day wedding. Out of love, you will move to Radom and live happily ever after.


Having your name shortened in 6 different ways. When you make friends and they start saying your name in affectionate diminutives (which are often much longer than your real name), or when your lover calls you something different each time, you will melt. It’s cuteness incarnate.


Mushrooms. Mushrooms everywhere, every colour, every shape, every taste. A paradise of forest mushrooms. Little vegetable markets full of mushroom baskets. Dried mushrooms in little plastic bags. Mushroom hunting during Sunday walks in the forests. Mushroom sauces, mushroom burgers, mushroom crêpes, mushroom soup, mushroom tea. Well no, there’s no mushroom tea, but still.


Hip-hop in Polish. Discovering hip-hop in another language is always a deep dive into a culture, its contemporary focuses, issues and identities. Polish being the most beautiful and strange language on earth, isn’t it exciting to listen to Polish hip-hop?


A perkier pickle. I would give all the Swiss chocolate in the world for jars of pickled ogórki – Polish cucumbers – the sour ones called kiszone and the fresh low-salt seasonal ones called małosolne. The very first time I tried them, it was in a soup and I thought it was mouldy. However, it was love at first bite. I learned to make jars of ogórki małosolne in the summery countryside near Olsztyn, and all the ingredients grew in the garden: cucumbers, garlic, dill, horseradish and blackcurrant leaf. I would look for the small ones and eat them all day. A friend had a baby that would gurgle and suck on pickles like candy.

art of irony. 10 The The Polish sense of humour seems to me a subtle combination of irony and selfridicule. It usually shows an acute awareness of what is at stake •


Poland’s wide variety of animals includes brown bears, wild horses, elk, deer and tree sparrows •

Polska & Poles

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Wild Beasts of Poland Białowieża Forest is home to a 500 member herd of European bison (above). It is the largest group of these extremely rare animals (fewer than 4,000 living worldwide), which were nearly hunted to extinction in Europe as early as the Middle Ages. A total of over 1,000 European bison live in Poland. Białowieża Forest is the last primeval forest complex on the continent. It is one of the most important natural treasures not only in Poland, but also in Europe. Therefore, in 1979 Białowieża Forest was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List •



Polska & Poles

Customs of the Country a mini-guide to the odd and out of the way

Śmigus-Dyngus (above)– the tradition of dowsing women and girls with water, rooted in pagan springtime rituals but incorporated informally into the Christian calendar. Now celebrated on Easter Monday, with certain peculiarities in various regions of Poland •

Midsummer Eve (left)– previously known in Polish as Noc Kupały or Sobótki, something like Valentine’s Day in the West. Celebrated on the shortest night of the year, typically around 23 – 24 June. Depending on the region, you set garlands afloat on the water, seek the fern flower for luck or get your fortune told. Nowadays these customs mostly accompany folk festivals and performances •


Polska & Poles Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (left), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mystery of the Passion is reenacted here during Holy Week, before Easter, in a unique setting •

Re-enactment of the Battle of Grunwald, (above) in Mazuria, commemorating one of the greatest clashes in Medieval Europe (15 July 1410). The annual programme includes several days of attractions themed around the Middle Ages. The culmination is a grand re-enactment by groups of knights, drawing thousands of spectators from around the country. (Hint: Poland always wins the battle against the Teutonic Knights.) •

The tradition of building Nativity scenes, called szopki, stretches back to the Middle Ages, but over the years the artisans developed their own style

alluding to Cracow’s church architecture. Every year there is a competition for the finest szopka. Richly decorated, they depict the scene of Jesus’ birth

in Bethlehem. Miniatures make a popular souvenir. An attraction for the Christmas season (see if your travel agency offers special excursions during this period) •


Polska & Poles

Drowning of Marzanna – a custom from pagan times, so long ago even the oldest Highlanders can’t remember them. Marzanna was the Slavic goddess of death and winter. Because no woman in her right mind would want to play this horrifying figure, effigies of her were made instead. To this day, on 21 March of every year, effi-

gies of Marzanna are drowned any place that’s good for drowning: rivers, lakes or ponds, but a biggish puddle or even a bathtub will do in a pinch. Drowning Marzanna is supposed to summon the spring and call on the heavens to ensure the crops are abundant and the people prosper. Marzanna is so despised that just to be sure

The Corpus Christi procession in Łowicz (above) probably stretches back to the beginnings of this holiday, instituted by Pope Urban IV in the 13th

she is dead, the effigy is set on fire before drowning, which certainly makes the overall effect more spectacular. Children skip school the same day, but not all of them get around to drowning Marzanna; some seek other outlets for celebrating their joy or drowning their sorrow •

century. An inseparable element of the festivities in this Mazovian city is the procession starting with Mass at St. Mary’s Basilica. From there, the crowds follow a portable altar constructed traditionally by the parishioners. Corpus Christi in Łowicz became famous for the incredibly colourful procession of locals dressed in their traditional folk costumes, featured in the National Geographic magazine in the 1930s. Visitors to Łowicz at other times of the year are disappointed to find that the people don’t wear the same colourful outfits every day. Tourists from all over the world descend on Łowicz for the procession every year (in May or June). To accommodate them the Gospel is read in four languages •

Polska & Poles

39 Fat Thursday is a moveable feast, as it depends on the Easter calendar. It’s the last Thursday before Lent and thus also marks the beginning of the end of the Carnival season. (The exact calculation depends on phases of the moon, the spring equinox, and a little arithmetic.) Basically it’s a day for gorging, traditionally on jelly doughnuts called pączki and crullers (faworki) which no nutritionist would recommend as a steady diet. These sweets are baked and shipped to shops by the thousands, but every self-respecting firm will buy dozens to feed their staff. The weight folks gain on Fat Thursday can come off during Lent •

The harvest festival called Dożynki (right) is held in the countryside, when the crops have been gathered in and field work has come to an end. Thanks are given for this year’s harvest and prayers are offered for an equally abundant harvest the next year. It’s an occasion for the villagers to put on their finery and show off their new tractor or bicycle. The local community comes together for feasting, dancing and concerts. In Communist times, Dożynki was celebrated on a wide scale, with overtones of party propaganda. This was intended to stress the solidarity between peasants working the land and the urban proletariat, and often ended under the table at the nearest bar • Tatar festivities Boisterous dancing to mark the end of important religio­ us holidays celebrated by Polish Tatars – Muslims who settled in the old Polish Commonwealth in the late 14th century •

Great Purim Ball The most joyful holiday in the Jewish calendar (usually in March), commemorating Mordecai and Esther, who saved the Jews from annihilation almost 3,000 years ago. Jewish communities

celebrate by holding fancydress balls • Countless fairs and festivals. The most important of these include the Dominican Fair in Gdańsk (July / August), the St. John’s Fair in Poznań (June), and the Fair of St. James in Szczecin (late July) •


Polska & Poles

Poles – romantic conquerors

The Poles are a nation of conquerors. In the past they pursued heroic deeds to save their own identity. Now they conquer the knowhow to pursue and fully achieve their passions. It’s no accident that they’ve achieved great success in sports recently. The world championship in volleyball, great standing in track & field events, cycling and so on, are a reflection of the Polish character. They will fight till they drop to achieve success. They reach the peaks of the Himalayas and across all fields of human endeavour. Polish scientists, programmers, entrepreneurs and artists don’t have to constantly worry if history will ‘Let Poland be Poland’. They just strive to live at the highest elevations, and hardly anyone suffers from a fear of heights. The Poles are a nation of vast potential. This is carried in the unique imagination inherent in every Pole. They don’t like to behave schematically and follow the beaten path. They create new concepts, and like an apple falling from the tree they hit on new ideas from one moment to the next. Sometimes their actions may seem irrational, and they aren’t always crowned with success. But they attempt to amaze the world. Once upon a time that was called the fantasy of the Uhlans – the dashing, colourful, sabre-wielding cavalry units of the past. Today, Poles are the Uhlans of creative thinking. They are convinced that nothing is impossible for them. Poland’s young people find unconventional ways to organize

Gunia Nowik and French-born Patrick Komorowski, founders of Pola Magnetyczne, one of Warsaw's most interesting galleries, with Emil Cieślar’s Music of Stars (2010–2015) •

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above: Poles place great emphasis on maintaining family bonds •

their work, travels, studies and even their food. They love fervently, and romantically believe in the nobility of the world. Maybe that’s why so many of them are poets. Poles place great emphasis on family life. Relatives are very important, as can be seen by the sheer number of guests at weddings. Whole families live together, not just because the young people can’t afford their own place but because of their ties to their parents and grandparents. They spend all holidays together – and there are lots of holidays. Polish calendars bleed with red-letter dates. Poles love to party and boisterously celebrate any occasion. Apart from birthdays, Poles also celebrate name days – not a universal custom around the world. The Poles are a hardworking people. Give them a chance and they will do their utmost to take advantage of it, whether it’s at a construction site or over a photocopier at a big corporation. They don’t back down from challenges. With this attitude, they are building their own country into

right: Poles are a hard working nation, not afraid to get their hands dirty •

a powerhouse, but they’re also contributing to growth in the UK, Norway, the US, and many other countries to which they are now connected by direct flights. Reports of water found on Mars were immediately followed by speculation that there must be a Polish plumber up there too. Poles are famed for their hospitality! That’s not just an ad slogan, but a truth following from their character. The more distant culturally a visitor is, the warmer the reception. This may be because the nation has tended to be homogeneous, so in the past any foreigner caused a sensation. Now this is changing, mainly because of the numerous arrivals from various corners of the world who figured out that Poland is a great place to live. Poles offer guests the finest of what they have, whether it’s the best seat at the table, a comfy armchair in front of the television, or a kind word. They help those in need, displaying unusual generosity. This is why they jump so eagerly into all sorts of charity campaigns. Thanks to their largesse,

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one huge campaign organized by Jurek Owsiak, called the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, has become a unique event, drawing huge crowds to the finale every winter, raising donations nationwide to help the sick, especially children. Poles have a verb in their vocabulary– załatwić – that’s hard to translate into any other language. It basically means to ‘arrange’ things, but the concept reflects the character of a nation that often had to get by under unfavourable circumstances. Years of economic malaise and shortages of basic goods forced Poles to use their ingenuity to somehow survive and thrive. This instilled in them an incredible resourcefulness, which may indeed be a heritable trait by now. With this, they manage to get by even in the most extreme situations. In Communist days, a father was proud if he could ‘arrange’ to get veal on the family table when it was missing from the shops, and today his son is equally proud if he manages to ‘arrange’ a contract to supply

veal abroad. The demands and realities of life in Poland have changed, but resourcefulness will always be valued. Poles are helped in life by their non-standard thinking. They always manage to find a solution that allows them to have their way. Tax inspectors know this all too well. Poles managed to take full advantage of the possibilities opened to them by joining the European Union. The very fact that the European Council is presided over by a Pole is cause for pride, particularly considering that a couple of decades ago this would have seemed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Back then everyone gazed at the West like a frosted cookie behind the glass in a confectionery store. Now a better world is within reach, and young Poles feel free. Borders have fallen, and travelling around the world enjoys massive popularity. Poles are venturing around all corners of the globe and expanding their horizons. They have no problem forming contacts with other nations and love to learn foreign languages – whether it’s


Poland attracts many foreigners. Famous English violinist, Nigel Kennedy (top), is the guest artistic director of Cracow’s Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic where he frequently gives concerts. He can also be found in Cracow’s jazz clubs where he is known to join in on a jam session or two The love of a Polish woman (bottom) – famous for their beauty – has convinced many foreigners to settle here •

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Spanish or Portuguese, German or Russian, not to mention English, which the younger generation have mastered as quickly as their multiplication tables. Poles tend to constantly seek out their roots. They place great weight on where they come from. They respect what they have achieved and appreciate all aspects of life that have shaped them. For the most part, welleducated Poles are increasingly aware of who they are and what they want to accomplish. They invoke tradition, from which they draw inspiration and creative power. This is one reason there has been a notable growth in

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interest across the country in Jewish culture, which has been inseparably linked to Polish reality over the centuries. Poles are a nation gifted with Slavic sensitivity and European pragmatism. Maybe this accounts for the unusual creativity of people living between the Baltic and the Tatras. Poles carry a dormant creative potential that has not yet been fully exploited. So it’s no surprise that cultural life is blossoming, with everyone taking an active part regardless of age or gender. Polish art, literature and cinematography continue their dynamic growth – all thanks to artists capa-


ble of expressing the complex Polish spirit, which distinguishes them in the global firmament of creative talent. Polish men have their own charm, while Polish women are regarded as some of the most beautiful in the world. Indeed, this may be why some visitors keep coming back to Poland. Many are delighted at the start by the beauty of Polish women or the taste of unique Polish dishes like bigos, and decide to stick around for a longer stay. After a few years of experiencing first-hand all the other delights of living on the Vistula, they may decide to settle permanently. Here they can


Polska & Poles

Each year large crowds attend Cracow’s Jewish Culture Festival •

develop their passions and achieve prominence reaching beyond Polish borders. The best examples are the eternally youthful musicians John Porter and Nigel Kennedy. Many foreigners living here help raise the Poles’ standard of living by contributing actively to social and cultural life, as witnessed by such unique individuals as Mamadou Diouf of the Multicultural Centre in Warsaw or Larry Okey Ugwu of the Baltic Sea Culture Centre in Gdańsk. As they decide to become Poles, Poland is slowly becoming a multicultural country, which is not something that can be measured by the number of spring rolls or kebabs.

Poles are easygoing by nature, perhaps with a weakness for whinging. Their frame of mind is influenced by many factors. The composition of the government, traffic jams in the street, a queue at the post office, difficulty locating the right professional to recommend, … and even the atmospheric pressure! Yes, they believe atmospheric pressure accounts for mood. Feeling energetic? The air pressure is up. Glum? The barometer is sinking. Before you come to Poland, explore the theories and conjectures in this sphere. It will come in handy as a conversational device! •


Among Poland's 38,437,239 inhabitants there are: 19,839,248 females – or:

18,597,991 males – or:



National and ethnic identity

Age structure

declared by responders as their first choice*

0.7 million other than Polish

435.8 k    Silesian

74.5 k

0–9 10-19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69 70–79 80–99 10.3% 9,8% 13.6% 16.5% 13.2% 13.6% 12.7% 6.1% 3.5%


Religions** 38.4 k

Orthodox   0.41%

Ukrainian Jehovah's Witness 0.36%

36.4 k Belarusian 17.7 k Kashubian 12.6 k Roma 8.2 k Russian

37.3 million

7.1 k Lemkos 5.6 k Lithuanian 3.6 k Vietnamese

Protestant (Lutherans, 0.32% Calvinists, Methodists) Greek Catholic 0.09% Pentecostal 0.07% Mariavite 0.03% Church Other 0.15%

3.0 k Armenian


2.5 k Jewish 2.3 k Slovak 1.7 k Italian 1.6 k English 1.5 k French 1.3 k Czech 1.2 k American (U.S.) 1.1 k Greek 0.9 k Dutch 0.5 k Spanish 22.3 k Other

Don't belong to any church


Did not provide a response


Roman Catholic


1.63% 7.1%

Source: Central Stati­stical Office of Poland, *National Census of Population and Housing 2011, Warsaw 2015 **Religious creeds in Poland 2012–2014, Warsaw 2016 For the first time ever responders were given the option to declare their first and second choice national / ethnic identity.


Warszawa (Warsaw) Get to know the vibrant capital. The key to understanding this eclectic city is to realize how often Warsaw had to start over from scratch – like the arrivals today seeking a new life here far from their h ­ ometowns. Warsaw was destroyed several times in military attacks, uprisings and reprisals. When the city practically ceased to exist in 1944, with nearly 90 % of the buildings destroyed, it looked like the final chapter in the history of the city with a mermaid wielding a sword and a shield on its coat of arms.

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But just a year later, people began returning to their beloved capital and rebuilding it laboriously, brick by brick. Its contemporary shape and atmosphere suggest a quickly recreated space that must serve various needs. There are modern residential developments here, sometimes standing alongside old tenement buildings. There are many classic buildings recalling the 19th century. There are also Socialist Realist remnants of Soviet domination, like the Palace of Culture – smack dab in the middle of the city, it can’t be ignored.


Grzybowski Square and All Saints Church with skyscrapers in the background •

The atmosphere of old Warsaw can best be enjoyed by strolling along the streets of the Praga district, on the east bank of the Vistula. The river on this side is separated from the city by natural embankments, with dense undergrowth protected by the EU’s Natura 2000 program. Varsovians throng to this wilderness for recreation, but it is also a haven for many species of wild animals and birds •



Fancy places, fancy things Anna Pięta and Magda ­Korcz – organizers of ‘HUSH Warsaw’ – the largest fair offering original Polish fashion designs For a bolt of fashion history visit the royal mill, Manufaktura Królewska in Łazienki Royal Park, Europe’s only landmark textile plant operating continu-

ously since the 17th century. Fabrics have been produced to order here for fashion houses like Chanel, Dior and Givenchy. Warsaw’s fashion street, in the city centre, is Mokotowska Street. Before starting your stroll on Mokotowska, stop at the nearby Mysia 3 shopping centre, that for original fashion design is to Warsaw what the Corso Como is for Milan. Anna Orska, the most creative jewellery designer in Poland, has a boutique here. There’s also the concept store SHE / S A RIOT, offering the brand’s own clothing, perfumes from around the world, magazines, and even chocolates. The NAP Moda shop features a solid selection of Polish brands like ESTby ES., Zofia Chylak and Anna Gregory. Treasures are hidden all along Mokotowska, from the ecological boutique Wearso to the shop of famous Polish designer Ania Kuczyńska, and many more. Drop in everywhere and discover the best Polish brands. On Sundays, tunes from the outdoor Chopin concerts in Łazienki Royal Park (above) float over to the bicycle path along Ujazdowskie Avenue. Before you


Living memory of Warsaw Jan Ołdakowski is the director of the Warsaw Rising Museum, one of the city’s liveliest and busiest historical institutions, commemorating the 1 August 1944 revolt against Nazi ­occupation.

reach the Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle, with socially-aware outdoor pieces in its front yard, you must wander along Koszykowa Street and the charming ‘avenue of roses’, Aleja Róż! The boutiques here are great places to spruce up your wardrobe. Try Kyosk (top left) and showroom Kaaskas. Find stylish cakes at Lukullus, especially the locations on Mokotowska (below left) and on Francuska Street in Saska Kępa. The interior design is striking, and the cakes are based on old Polish and French recipes. Magda’s favourites are the Limoncello tarts and the ‘Armani’ cake. The owners work closely with local artists to allude to Warsaw history and capture its bohemian atmosphere. The Neon Museum at Soho Factory, Mińska Street 25 (­middle left), documents the design of Polish neon advertising signs through the years. Neon was a medium favoured by the authorities for state-owned shops and enterprises during the Communist era, and some of these remarkable pieces are on display here •

‘It’s great to be in Warsaw on the 1st of August to witness the annual celebration of the Warsaw Uprising’ , Ołdakowski says. ‘At 5 pm the sirens go off, and at that very moment the entire city comes to a halt. Seeing this gigantic ‘flashmob’ , when hundreds of thousands of people stand for a minute of silence, cars and bikes stop, all in homage to fallen Varsovians – it always makes a huge impression. The citizens of Warsaw feel a link to the history of this city. But it is a tangled history, impacted by two breeds of totalitarianism – Nazi and Soviet. That marks how Warsaw looks today: visually chaotic and often unlovely, but despite this-or perhaps precisely because of this-highly dynamic, creative, in constant motion’ •



A night on the town!

Michał ‘Borek’ Borkiewicz – cultural impresario and founder of iconic Warsaw café clubs Plan B, Plac Zabaw and Dwa Osiem Plac Zbawiciela (OPPOSITE PAGE FAR RIGHT) hardly needs an introduction, but it can’t be missed. It is a living symbol of social transformation, as people left home and headed into the streets! It all began with our small club Plan B, which hosts small concerts, meetings and parties. Later joined by the café / bakery Charlotte and several other bars and informal eateries, Plac Zbawiciela became the favourite spot for Warsaw artists, activists, freelancers, or simply your smarter breed of drinkers. For some, the area represents everything relaxed and open-minded, for others it’s all show-offs and hipsters (whoever they might be). I love it. Lado ABC is the most important independent music label in Warsaw, or maybe anywhere in Poland. It’s also an artistic group, a community, a brand, a scene… Dozens of musicians come together to create a mass of stylistically varied projects. There’s no office, official distribution or marketing strategy, and it doesn’t


make money, but it releases lots of good material. The musicians play at global festivals and small clubs. Plac Zabaw (the outdoor stage of Plan B, down on the river) hosts a mini-festival for Lado ABC every summer. Plac Defilad (ABOVE LEFT) combines the energy of several drivers of cultural life in Warsaw – the café clubs in the Palace of Culture and Science (Bar Studio and Café Kulturalna), together with the team at Teatr Studio – with the initiative of the city authorities. They have breathed life into the most visible but underused space in the centre of Warsaw: Plac Defilad. Here a varied program of cultural events, debates, and social and environmental campaigns are interwoven with official city events.

The banks of the Vistula River used to be a wasteland in terms of food and culture, associated with grilled sausages and brawls between track-suited thugs. Today everybody heads down to the river – indeed, some folks spend their whole summer there. It’s certainly worth checking out what’s going on at Cud nad Wisłą, Pomost 511, Kurort, Sezon, Hocki Klocki, Barka and the nearby Plac Zabaw (below). They all offer a rich cultural program! If you’re looking for music in a little quieter and more intimate setting, I recommend the Free Jazz at Pardon To Tu, Klubokawiarnia Towarzyska, Oleandrów 3, Chmury (in the colourful Praga district east of the river), Kawiarnia Fawory, and



after that some excellent falafel at Bejrut on Senatorska Street. You can reach all these spots on a bicycle! •

Warsaw Cockney Warsaw slang involves original words and expressions, but also a characteristic tone of voice, with verbal shortcuts and twists, humour and swagger. You can hear it best from a taxi driver or on the streets of Praga, on the east side of the river. Differences often cropped up within this special language, depending on local neighbourhood influences, specific occupations, or traces of German or Yiddish. Before World War II these dif-

ferences were more distinct than they are now. After the war, slang began to be studied scientifically and used in highbrow literature. Now the Warsaw Slang Society has assumed the task of maintaining the argot they call Warsiaski. The group organizes workshops and other events upholding the tradition, publishing glossaries online and even teaching slang – all so this pungent and clever ‘Warsaw Cockney’ remains in circulation and does not die out •

Examples of Warsiaski slang terms graba – hand gablota – a car, resembling a ‘glass display case’ for any items of value piterek – wallet

doliniarz – a pickpocket, a ‘valley dweller’ who dips into people’s pockets taryfiarz – a taxi driver, who charges a ‘fare’



Milk bars for all A phenomenon that occurs not just in Warsaw but enjoys particular popularity here is the ‘milk bars’, a holdover from the days of Communism. The name notwithstanding, they serve much more than milk, offering simple Polish fare (soups, dumplings, pancakes and the like) at very affordable, subsidized prices. Don’t be surprised if you see a businessman in a suit here eating lunch next to a homeless man. Some of the milk bars retain their retro atmosphere, while others have had a facelift. The one called Bar Prasowy, (right) on Marszałkowska Street, became a cause célèbre when city authorities threatened to shut it down. Activists fought back, occupying the milk bar and serving food themselves. ­Finally a settlement was reached and Bar Prasowy survived.

Updated with a sharper design, it’s still in operation today •

Museum under construction The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is an excellent example of a nomad institution. While waiting for years for its ultimate home, it continually stirs up creative agitation in the artistic and social life of the city. For now it is housed in the former Emilia furniture showroom (above),

but wherever it happens to be located at the moment – perhaps finally in its own building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners? – remember you can always find critical exhibitions here, interesting people, the finest art books and albums, and a great cup of coffee! •



The city is ours! Urban activists in action Joanna Erbel – sociologist, urban activist, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Warsaw in 2014

Osiedle Jazdów is a green enclave in the busy city centre, between the Vistula Escarpment and Park Ujazdowski. This development of wooden Finnish houses from after World War II was the scene of a pitched battle in 2012 – 2015 to save this space. Originally the houses were to be torn down to make way for redevelopment, but after numerous happenings by the activists from the Open Jazdów group, a letter of intent was signed with the city authorities to take joint action to protect the cultural heritage here. Apart from long-time residents, Jazdów is home to numerous NGOs, two community gardens (above), and colonies of bees. The further plans for the area are the

fruits of the first grassroots social consultation in Warsaw. Osiedle Przyjaźń is another development of Finnish houses, this one far from the city centre in the Bemowo district. As at Jazdów, after the war they were built to house workers brought in to rebuild Warsaw. After they left a legendary academic village grew up here, with a cinema, bathhouse, cafeterias, a clinic and a preschool. The property is witness to the history of the rebuilding of the capital, and thanks to the engagement of activists, in August 2015 the Mayor of Warsaw recognized the development as a landmark. So while you admire the green space here and the architecture, you can also feel the social energy to pro-

tect the local community and its heritage. The disused concrete velodrome Nowe Dynasy in the Praga Południe district, at 11 Podskarbińska Street, has become the focus of the energy of urban activists seeking to maintain the local history and restore the track to its original use for bicycle racing. In 2014 a group from the café club Dwa Osiem, the theatre group Koło, Zmiana Organizacji Ruchu and Studio Robot launched a public debate about revitalizing this facility. Money was raised on a crowdfunding site to build a miniracetrack (top), the first step to restoring the Nowe Dynasy velodrome to its former glory •



Unique among Europe’s big cities, the eastern bank of the Vistula is largely wild, overgrown and unregulated. On its sandy beaches residents hold picnics and bonfires. Across the river, on the ‘civilized’ western bank, they flock to cafés, nightclubs, and the Copernicus Science Centre, which opened in 2010. This scientific ‘exploratorium’ is one of the most attractive centres of its kind in Europe, with a planetarium and a rooftop garden overlooking the river. ‘I also recommend gazing at the

panorama of Warsaw from the water’ ,says Ołdakowski. ‘From kayaks available for rent, or from the ferry or the ‘water trams’ making river crossings in the summer. The best view is from near the Gdański Bridge, with the Old Town in the foreground, as in the 18th century paintings of the city by Bernardo Bellotto, but with glass-clad skyscrapers in the background’. One of the most modern bridges is the Świętokrzyski Bridge (below) linking Powiśle neighbourhood with Praga Północ district •







An architectural miracle Grzegorz Piątek – architecture critic, curator of architectural exhibitions and artistic projects

Those words was a refrain heard on Warsaw streets in the 1950s – the city, tragically battered throughout its history, returned to life thanks to the whole nation’s efforts. It’s important to remember that Warsaw is a brand-new city, and even the Old Town (left), is new, because it was rebuilt in the 1950s after total destruction in World War II. The Old Town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being an exceptional project of 20th century reconstruction. An immediately striking feature is the Warsaw ‘downtown’ with the Socialist Realist tower, the Palace of Culture and Science, surrounded by modern skyscrapers. The high-rises individually may not be that distinguished, but as a group they stand out among European capitals, which tend to be built on a lower scale. For the newest architecture there is Powiśle. First off is the University of Warsaw Library, by Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski – the last major postmodernist design in Poland. It is admired

by architectural professionals and ordinary users alike. Open not just to students but also to the public, the building features a roof garden offering a panoramic view of Warsaw. Next, head over to the nearby and entirely new Academy of Fine Arts building on Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie, designed by the JEMS Architekci studio. This rational construction of concrete and glass, colourBarbara and Stanisław Brukalskis’ private house (1927–1929) •



This modernist building was completed in 1952 as the headquarters of the Polish United Workers’ Party (Communist Party) Central Committee (LEFT). Today it is a banking and financial office centre (CBF) and is home to a number of popular bars specialising in artisanal beers and fine cocktails (above) •

ful rather than cold, showcases contemporary Polish architecture. Fans of Modernism should stop by for pierogi and steak tartare at the nearby bar Warszawa Powiśle, in what was originally the ticket hall for the commuter rail station from the 1950 s. A showpiece for Warsaw today is Polin, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (above), by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki. It is important to visit not only for the impressive exhibition depicting a thousand years of shared history of Jews and Poles, but also for its superb, monumental architecture.

An architecture buff could work up a thirst after all that. A good spot for a drink is the former Communist Party headquarters (above), ironically later home to the Warsaw Stock Exchange. A bar called Cuda na Kiju serves fashio­ nable craft beers, while Zamieszanie is known for its cocktails. The informal hipster vibe of these joints undercuts the weight of the monumental architecture of power, and on warm evenings the courtyard takes on the atmosphere of a bustling Italian piazza •

61 Palace of Culture and Science wy 231 m bu 1955 ar Lew Rudniew

Cosmopolitan wy 160 m bu 2014 ar Helmut Jahn

High-rise Warsaw In the middle ages, the skyline was dominated by the brick belfry of the Church of the Visitation in the New Town area. In 17th century, the extended Royal Castle with a column of king Zygmunt III Waza became the symbol of Warsaw’s newly acquired role of the capital of Poland. Until the late 19th century houses hardly ever exceeded the height of three or four floors. The new construction methods allowed local builders to break the 50-metre mark. The record was set in 1908 on the completion of a medieval revival tower for the swedish telephone company Cedergren (now PAST tower or Pasta). In 1933 the 66-metre

Prudential Building wy 66 m bub1934 ar Stefan Bryła, Marcin Weinfeld

art deco Prudential tower, designed by Marcin Weinfeld and Stefan Bryła took the lead. In the mid-50s the bar was set much higher by the 231-metre Palace of Culture and Science, then the second tallest building in Europe. Office and residential towers have been growing in size and in number recently, making Warsaw’s skyline one of the most dynamic and spectacular on the continent. The Cosmopolitan residential tower designed by the GermanAmerican architect Helmut Jahn, has won accolades for its elegant design •

Clock Tower, Royal Castle wy 40 m bu 1622 ar Matteo Castelli, Gaetano Chiaveri

Polish Telephone Building (Pasta) wy 51 m bu 1908 ar Bronisław Brochwicz-Rogoyski

Sigismund Column wy 22 m bu 1643 ar Agostino Locci, Constantino Tencalla St Mary’s Church, New Town wy 32 m bu 1411 ar Unknown


Ĺ ĂłdĹş Creative Ĺ ĂłdĹş Compared to other Polish cities, Ĺ ĂłdĹş has a rather unusual history. Despite being officially recognised as a city from the Middle Ages onward, it was not until the 19th century that its population increased dramatically. By the outbreak of World War I, Ĺ Ăłdź’s population had risen from only a few hundred to half a million. The reason behind this growth was the Industrial Revolution which had made Ĺ ĂłdĹş into one of Europe’s leading textile production centres. This feat was accomplished by Poles, Germans, Jews and Russians alike.

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Łódź below: The National Film Culture Centre is a part of the EC1 - City of Culture – New Centre of Łódź cultural and redevelopment project. EC1 is the massive post-industrial complex of the city’s first power plant, located near the city’s Łódź Fabryczna main railway station. Since 2010, the site has been undergoing a repurposing and adaptation so that it can be used for cultural and entertainment purposes. It is a part of a spectacular development program for a 100 hectare area in the centre of Łódź •

Above: Księży Młyn (Priest’s Mill) - is a large neighborhood in Łódź, which survived almost untouched since the city’s industrial heyday. Karol

The effects of this diversity can be seen not only in the manufacturers’ urban palaces and post-industrial areas, but also in the graveyards and places of worship of their respective religions. During the Communist period, the Łódź Film School (commonly known as the Filmówka) was founded and this educational institution produced many of Poland’s famous film makers including Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański and Krzysztof Kieślowski. However, the political changes of 1989 resulted in the collapse of the textile industry – causing the city to fall into

W. Scheibler, one of the city’s most important factory owners in the 19th century, built this factory and residential complex as a city within the city •

decline. Yet Łódź has recently been undergoing something of a regeneration and has started to re-discover its creative and innovative spirit. Large-scale events are held here, such as the International Festival of Comics and Games, the Łódź 4 Cultures Festival, Łódź Design Festival and FashionPhilosophy Fashion Week Poland, and attract creative individuals from a variety of fields. Łódź has also become a market leader in the production of anticancer drugs thanks to its biotechnology companies which have been set up around local academic institutions •


Films and woonerfs Łukasz Dzięcioł – film producer, Opus Film Łódź is an exceptional place for filmmakers. Starting with the help of the city and its local authorities to the friendliness and support of its residents, there is no other place more open to film productions, and nowhere is it easier to make

Łódź them. It really is unique – nowhere in the world is film production met with such help and understanding. The urban fabric of Łódź is mostly made of former factory buildings which lend themselves perfectly to these artistic initiatives. Łódź’s main street is the beautiful Piotrkowska Street (below), which has always been at the heart of the city’s life. At one point, some of this energy was taken up by Manufaktura (Łódź’s art centre and shopping mall) which, despite being an admittedly commercial en-

terprise, has been excellent at combining entertainment with culture. In addition to the concerts and exhibitions which are organised here, Łódź also boasts the biggest museum of modern art in Poland – ms2. Piotrkowska’s sides streets, however, are increasing being turned into woonerfs, or home zones. These are streets which purposefully limit car traffic and create walkways. 6 Sierpnia Street is particularly popular as it was Łódź’s first woonerf, more of them are popping up all the time •



Many of the old factories were knocked down but some were converted into modern shopping and entertainment centres: Izrael Poznański’s old factory buildings now house Manufaktura, while Ludwik Geyer’s White Factory on Piotrkowska Street is now home to the Central Museum of Textiles (ABOVE). Over a hundred

old factory chimneys can still be seen across the city. The Neoplastic Room (below) at the Museum of Art in Łódź was designed by Władysław Strzemiński. The Museum is mainly focussed on the study and exhibition of avant-garde art and progressive artistic ­endeavors •


Love your city Pola Stępień – clothing ­designer and creator of Moda Polka brand ‘Pograjka łódzka’ (above) is a series of meetings which take place throughout the year, usually in the form of a local knees-up, but there are music workshops as well. The project is dedicated to promoting folk culture by providing entertainment that is both educational and artistic. It’s great fun: you carry on dancing until morning, feeling the folk rhythms with your own body. The parties usually take place at the Szwalnia Theatre at 90 Struga Street.


The Marek Edelman Dialogue Centre is an institution which actively works to promote Łódź’s multicultural and multiethnic heritage, with particular attention given to its Jewish traditions and of other cultures which have influenced the city’s development. The centre is at 38 Wojska Polskiego Street. My favourite restaurant is ‘Lokal’ . Their motto is: ‘Eat local – act global. Help local initiatives, buy local food, listen to local bands and go to their concerts, support local artists. Study, work and live here. Love your city’. It’s both political and friendly at the same time: delicious food, inspiring local cuisine, regular artistic programmes, and concerts and music events in the evenings. For years I’ve always said the best coffee in town can be found at the Owoce i Warzyawa (Fruits and Vegetables, LEFT). It can now be found in the newly renovated surroundings of Traugutta Street, which has been transformed into a woonerf or home zone at 9 Traugutta Street. Next door is the best icecream shop ever! ‘Łodziarnia’ – ice-cream on tap. Made with natural ingredients with no artificial additives, and all prepared on – site at 9 Sienkiewicza Street. Łódź’s most interesting music club, DOM, was founded by local underground veterans and can

be found at OFF Piotrkowska – in the former Franciszek Ramisch cotton mill. The place is now a hub for clubs, restaurants, exhibitions spaces, rehearsal rooms, showrooms and concept stores, as well design studios and a club-cum-cafe. 138 / 140 Piotrkowska Street •


Łódź OFF Piotrkowska (left), is now the most fashionable place in Łódź, having turned Ramisch’s old factory into a teeming hub of creative production. The centre now boasts fashion and design studios, music clubs, restaurants, exhibition spaces, rehearsal rooms and much more •

The back streets of Łódź

The murals at 5 Roosevelta Street (above) were created by Brazil’s Os Gemeos and Spain’s Aryz street artists as part of the Urban Forms Gallery project •

Łódź's Bałuty district, infamous for it dodgy reputation, plays a central role in the works of comic book writer Robert Popielecki. Some backstreets welcome you in with splendour, a renewed elegance, hip new restaurants or intriguing artistic offerings. Others guard their secrets jealously, cordoning themselves off from passersby with iron gates and intercoms. It’s almost as if any uninvited guests would deprive the residents of parking spaces for their aging ‘beemeks’ (BMWs) and Audis, all of which, naturally, have been converted to run on natural gas in order to save money. Others should only be entered at your own risk. Nonetheless, a stroll around Łódź’s backstreets gives you a good feel for the city •



Fashionable Łódź Having been born out of the textile trade, Łódź still continues its clothing traditions, although now along more creative rather than industrial ones. Łódź is becoming Poland’s Milan – our fashion and design capital – hosting the country’s most important fashion events including: Fashionphilosophy Fashion Week Poland, Złota Nitka, The

Pan tu nie stał (You weren’t standing here!) - is a Łódźbased clothing and textile company founded in 2006. It offers a wide variety of hip clothing and accessories inspired by Poland’s Communist-era aesthetic of the 1960s, 70s and 80s (right) •

Diploma Fashion Show from the Fashion Design Department at the Strzemiński Academy of Art, Fashion Lab and RE-ACT Fashion Show, which display both the work of debutants, as well as well-known designers and brands. Designers and textile technicians are educated at several of Łodź’s institutions of higher education: the Academy

of Art Fashion Design Department, The Technical College, and The Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design at the Lódź University of Technology. At the same time, the Central Museum of Textiles, housed at the former Ludwik Geyer factory, educates people on the history of dress, weaving and clothing production •



Łódź Design Festival (above & left) A further example of Łódź’s commitment to creative production is the festival which enjoys its well-deserved reputation as the most important event of its type in Central and Eastern Europe. The festival shows many different sides to modern design: from industrial design, crafts, graphic design and architecture, all the way through to fashion •


Poznański Palace The great textile-producing families, such as the Poznańskis, the Scheiblers, the Heinzs, the Herbsts and the Biedermanns left behind monumental palaces. The most important of them is the Poznański Palace. Due to its magnificent architectural details, it has been dubbed ‘The Louvre of Łódź’  •



Polish cinema’s promised land The city has been the filming location for some 150 movies, and the Ĺ ĂłdĹş Film School has educated numerous Polish artists whose work has been appreciated across the world • Andrzej Munk î €  1951 

Andrzej Wajda î €  1953 

Kazimierz Karabasz The Musicians Lion of San Marco, Venice đ&#x;?†  1959  î € Roman PolaĹ„ski

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Katowice & Silesia For a change Silesia is sloughing off its old skin. The region was built on coal, but today it is reinventing itself, taking bold steps in culture and innovation. Here you will visit art centres in old coal mines and mingle with the crowd at some of Europe’s finest music festivals. Unique start-ups are also sprouting in Katowice. But in their quest for the new, Silesians aren’t forgetting what makes them special – rooted in a language different from the rest of the country, a mining tradition of hard work, and post-industrial ­architecture.

Here and away î ? Katowice Airport â€“ 24 km îĄ? Prague â€“ 330 km Bratislava â€“ 270 km Vienna â€“ 300 km Budapest â€“ 310 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1865  î Žâ€† 305 k î Ľâ€† 165 km2 î Š 5 199 PLN î € 58 k Culture & Nature

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Katowice & Silesia


above: A concert at the Guido Coal Mine in Zabrze •

The backbone of the region is a string of cities linked by rail and tram routes: Katowice, Zabrze, Bytom, Chorzów, and many other post-industrial municipalities, each with its own unique character. Together, they make up the Metropolitan Association of Silesian Cities, a metroplex of nearly 3 million people popularly known as the ‘Silesian Metropolis’ . Perhaps the best way

to grasp the contrast between the Silesia of the past and the Silesia of today is to take an elevator deep into the historic Guido mine in Zabrze. Equipped with mining helmets and lanterns, visitors on Europe’s only suspension mining railway open to tourists can see what work in a coal mine in the 19th and 20th centuries looked like. Then, 320 m below the surface, they can


Katowice & Silesia

The Katowice Cultural District is located on the grounds of the former Katowice Coal Mine, between the iconic ‘Spodek’ (above, on the right) and the new buildings housing the International Congress Centre, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Silesian Museum (left) •

enjoy liquid refreshments at the Pump Room pub or watch a performance at Teatr na Poziomie, Europe’s deepest stage. A culture mine Mining traditions are continued today by big Silesian companies of global reach, like Kopex and Famur, producing equipment for mines as far away as China. But when you look around, you will see fewer and fewer smokestacks belching ash into the atmosphere, and more and more cultural institutions. In Katowice, the capital of the Upper Silesia region, the old industrial

powerhouse is still visible in the pre-war modernist architecture and the impressive projects from the Communist era, such as the arena known as ‘Spodek’ for its resemblance to a flying saucer. But if aliens were to land there today, they would find new and equally daring architectural miracles all around them: the new Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra concert hall, the International Congress Center, and the new Silesian Museum at the former Katowice mine (with a phenomenal collection of naive art). This cultural axis is the exciting new face of the post-industrial city.

Katowice & Silesia

Small homeland The past is preserved at the unique industrial housing complexes of Giszowiec and Nikiszowiec, the characteristic red brick multi-family housing known locally as familoki. These estates bear testimony to the complex history of the mineral-rich region of Silesia, which was attractive to the surrounding empires of Russia, Austria and Germany. They divided it up among themselves and ruled here until World War I. Subsequently the land was divided between Poland and Germany, until the en-


tire region was incorporated into the Polish state in 1945. Through all the historical, economic and social turmoil, Silesia has been fortunate to have a people who are fascinated by their own ‘little homeland’ . Silesians maintain their own language and are a group with a unique identity formed through the interaction of Polish and German influences. As it turns out, practicality, an emphasis on family, and an outstanding work ethic – the traits arising from the region’s mining tradition, also come in handy when designing architecture, establishing cafés and clubs, and organizing music f­ estivals! •


Silesia from the backside Przemo Łukasik – architect, (Medusa Group). Designer of the Bolko Loft (right), a critically-acclaimed house in an adapted lamp room of a former coal mine in Bytom, where he lives with his family. Silesia is an area that can be read in various ways. I recommend approaching it from the backside, not via the obvious direction. Take a train ride, for example from Chorzów, through Ruda Śląska, to Bytom and Katowice, and examine the face Silesia presents to the railroad tracks. It’s a face that’s not rouged or powdered, with vulgar

Katowice & Silesia

graffiti by football fans, grills in tiny backyards, and people who make no pretences about who they are. Outside the window are familoki, (ABOVE) brick housing for workers at plants along the coal route. It’s particularly fascinating for those who associate sightseeing with framing and cropping. You can snap intriguing photos every few metres. Silesian ‘Alternatif turistik’ is a term that appeared a few years ago when the Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art in Bytom published Marcin Doś and Radek Ćwieląg’s guide to post-industrial areas. Buildings that until recently couldn’t even be photographed become (unofficially) accessible to visitors. I often explore these sites with a group that bands together on Internet forums. We move from one old factory to another on bicycles (opposite page top), play turbo golf (opposite page bottom) there, and admire the beauty of the structures. One

such building is the Szombierki Power Plant in Bytom, a fascinating structure with the same architectural and historical potential as the Silesian Museum at the disused Katowice coal mine. Like the rest of Silesia, it is still seeking a new scenario for itself. Perhaps it could be repurposed as a popular science exploratorium? •

Katowice & Silesia



Picnic on a slag heap

Katowice & Silesia

Michał Kubieniec and Dominik Tokarski – creators of the iconic Kato café-club and the Silesian design concept store Geszeft in Katowice’s Koszutka district.

In Katowice, post-war modernism can be found in many buildings from the Communist era which, as the writer Filip Springer aptly said were ‘misbegotten’ . The Spodek, or flying saucer, is a symbol of the city, but there is also the 187 m long Superjednostka (Superunit), modelled on Le Corbusier’s residential blocks, and Osiedle Tysiąclecia (above), the estate named to commemorate

Katowice & Silesia

the Polish state’s millennium (popularly known as ‘Tauzen’). They’re for those who prefer innovative solutions over historic town squares. Koszutka is the smallest district in Katowice, but fertile ground for grassroots initiatives, activists and new urban artisans. The informal ‘wake-up’ initiative Pobudka Koszutka operates here, along with Paweł Jaworski’s ‘Fix Your City’ association (Napraw Sobie Miasto). They organize neighbourhood festivals and local campaigns (LEFT ABOVE). In this neighbourhood you’ll find the best tailor in town, a shop with men’s fashion gadgets called Poszetka (left), the café / bakery Lokal (and the most interesting independent gallery, ‘Two Left Hands’ (Dwie Lewe Ręce), run by Maciej Skobel). Plus there’s lots of great vegetable stands, a traditional bazaar, a shop with Arab products, a fish-fry joint, and plenty of other interesting places. Consider a picnic on a slag heap-a typically Silesian diversion. Slag heaps left over


from coal mining have grown to become a feature of the landscape in Silesian cities and are used by the locals for picnics, barbecues and all-around relaxation.I recommend the slag heap in the Katowice district of Kostuchna, with the Boże Dary mine still operating underneath, and a vista of the far-off Tatra Mountains. Off Festival, Tauron Nowa Muzyka and Ars Cameralis are festivals that stress ambitious music. They are also held at interesting sites, such as the Silesian Museum (former mine site), Dolina Trzech Stawów, or, like Ars Cameralis, at various spots all around Silesia. For Silesian cuisine there’s the restaurant SITG in the lovely postindustrial Nikiszowiec and Karczma pod Młynem in Dąbrówka Mała. There you can try a classic Silesian dinner: roulade, cabbage and dumplings, washed down with fruit compote. Such a solid meal will give you strength to tour the city further! •


Informal sightseeing Karol Piekarski – a media expert who works for Katowice – City of Gardens Cultural Institution. Curator for the experimental Medialab ­Katowice project combining creative work with research and education.

Katowice & Silesia For those interested in touring the city in a less organized way, I suggest the Katowice mural route (below right), glancing into courtyards revitalized in cooperation with the residents as part of the Plac na Glanc project (middle left), seeking out urban neons, visiting the skate park in Paderewa, and finding interesting places to eat near Mariacka Street. Take in a concert at Leśni­ czówka in the centre of the huge retro-tinged Park Śląski in Chorzów (bottom left). The concert hall of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra offers not only classical symphonies, but also regular performances by the New Music Orchestra, particularly premieres of new compositions.

Sound Bureau Katowice brings together people experimenting with electronic music for regular workshops and performances. What I like the most about Silesia is the combination of dynamic urbanization and nature. Apart from Park Śląski, I also recommend Dolina Trzech Stawów and the forests stretching south from Katowice toward Mikołów and Pszczyna, which you can explore for hours on bike. Silesian design is interesting for its contemporary allusions to the history of the region, for example Sadza Soap (top right) or Brokat jewellery from coal, or the porcelain Spodek by Bogdan Kosak. You can stock up on original Silesian gadgets at Gryfnie (right), a shop run by Krzysztof and Klaudia Roksela, popularizers of the Silesian dialect •


Katowice & Silesia

Castle full of design Cieszyn, capital of the Cieszyn Silesia micro-region, offers a stunning number of architectural landmarks from the Romanesque to Secession. But the city doesn’t just live off its past. It is also home to the Zamek Cieszyn (Cieszyn Castle) design institution (ABOVE & TOP). It’s a centre combining contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship,

and disappearing professions with innovative technologies. It is the headquarters of the Silesian Design Cluster, which fosters cooperation between business and designers and is the originator of EIDD Design for All Europe, which promotes socially engaged design •


owice above and below ground

above: The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra’s concert hall was designed by Tomasz Konior, and is considered to have some of the best acoustics in Europe •

Katowice & Silesia


Katowice above and below ground

View (opposite page top) and cross section (below) of the new Silesian Museum complex located at the site of the former Katowice Coal Mine. The 19th century mine has been merged

with modern exhibition spaces located below-ground. The Silesian Museum’s main building boasts seven floors, three of which are underground •

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Katowice’s tallest buildings and deepest coal mines

SIlesian Museum

62 m

1890 Ferdynand 1913 Coal Mine Wujek Coal Mine 1934 473 m 540 m Wujek Coal Mine 613 m

73 m

1962 Wujek Coal Mine 680 m

83 m

90 m

1970 Staszic Coal Mine 720 m

99 m

105 m

1981 Wujek Coal Mine 730 m

Adapted from infographic by Medialab Katowice for the Apetyt na radykalną zmianę (An appetite for a radical change), Katowice 1865–2015 exhibition

125 m

2011 MurckiStaszic Coal Mine 980 m


KrakĂłw (Cracow) Cracow (or KrakĂłw in Polish) is a dignified Gothic and Renaissance royal city, proud of its traditions, crowned by Wawel Royal Castle, where former rulers of Poland rest for eternity. But Cracow is also Poland’s party capital, a city that never sleeps, drawing throngs of foreign tourists hungering to tour the city’s impressive landmarks and thirsting for fun and entertainment.

Here and away î ? Cracow Airport â€“ 11 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 255 km Bratislava â€“ 295 km Vienna â€“ 330 km Budapest â€“ 295 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1257  î Žâ€† 759 k î Ľâ€† 327 km2 î Š 4153 PLN î € 171 k Culture & Nature

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left: View of Cracow from Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle published in 1493 •


You can see the traditional faces of Cracow by strolling down the Royal Route, which runs from the Barbican, by St. Mary’s Basilica (above), home of Veit Stoss’s Gothic altarpiece, to the renaissance Royal Castle at Wawel. The former Jewish district of Kazimierz presents an entirely different impression: after years of decline, it became a hotbed of trendy and


atmospheric eating and drinking spots alluding to the mood and character of the area before the Holocaust. The postindustrial Zabłocie neighborhood has also recently become a fashionable district, when the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art was opened in the former Oskar Schindler enamelware factory, sparking the district’s r­ evitalization •



Symbolic Cracow Cracow was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, and as the former capital of Poland it has always enjoyed vast importance for Polish tradition, culture and memory-particularly symbolic memory, connected to national identity. The Wawel Cathedral (below with Wawel Royal Castle complex) became the first national pantheon, with the tombs of nearly all of the kings of Poland and their families. The first crowned ruler to rest there was Władysław ‘Elbow-high’ Łokietek, who died in 1333. Over succeeding centuries, Cracow became the burial place for outstanding figures from culture and science, national bards and leaders. The role of a national mausoleum was taken over in the 19th century by the Crypt of Distinguished Poles at Skałka (also in Cracow), now the resting

place of Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Wyspiański, Czesław Miłosz and others. Nowa Huta, now a district of Cracow, was built in Stalinist times as a separate workers’ city with a huge steel mill complex, to serve as a counterweight to the conservative intelligentsia traditions of Cracow. It was designed to be Poland’s first fully socialist city, beautiful and comfortable, but also a symbolic stronghold of the proletariat, a guidepost on the way to the Sovietization that the whole country was supposed to be striving for. This stratagem of the communist authorities backfired, and Nowa Huta became a major centre for the Solidarity opposition movement. It stands today as a curiosity for fans of utopian architecture and urban planning •



above: Błonia, a vast meadow in the city centre, lies less then 2 km from the Old Town Square. Central Cracow is densely built up and short on green spaces, so the proximity of this big open park, with an impressive view of Kościuszko Mound and Sowiniec Hill, makes this a favourite spot for biking, walking, and other leisure pursuits • RIGHT: Cracow-style nativity scenes (szopki), are richly-decorated multi-level structures containing miniature versions of Cracow’s architectural gems. They are meant to represent the scene of the birth of Jesus and became a Cracow tradition in the 19th century. By now, however, they have evolved far beyond anything that can be seen anywhere in Europe or even the world • left: Nowa Huta is not a district but a city within a city – artificially created in the middle of nowhere. says Karol Konwerski, computer game creator, and Nowa Huta resident. Unlike Cracow, it’s not a patchwork of landmark tenements, churches and historic sites. ‘Huta’ is a whole, designed along the lines of the ideal Renaissance garden city. It’s an ideal socialist realist city, with at least one tree and one fallout shelter space allocated to each resident •



St. Mary’s Trumpet Call (rigth) – a melody played on the hour, every hour from atop one of the St. Mary’s Church towers by a trumpeter. The noon performance is always broadcast live around the world by Polish Radio’s Program I. Two trumpeters, professional firefighters, serve every 24 hour shift during which each one plays the melody 48 times as the trumpet call is played toward four ­directions •

The Brutalist former Hotel Forum building (left) was designed by Janusz Ingarden. Its construction stretched from 1978–1988, and the hotel was in service for a mere 14 years – closing in 2002. Today, the grim structure has been been brought back to life by the trendy Forum Przestrzenie cafe-club (above), which is decorated with artifacts from the hotel’s glory years •



From Podgórze to Zabłocie Artur Wabik, street artist, mural painter and author of art installations in public spaces The fashion for specific districts in Cracow changes about once every five years. Some time ago, Podgórze located on the other side of the Vistula from the city centre, became an attractive location for artists and independent cultural institutions. Studios, galleries, cafés and ­alternative clubs, such as the famed Spół­dzielnia Goldex Poldex, took root there. In just a few months, streets such as Mostowa, Brodzińskiego, Nadwiślańska and Józefińska were transformed from dark alleys into the most fashionable strolling routes, chock full of crowded eating and drinking spots with gardens. Murals appeared on the side walls of ruined tenements, such as the ‘bell’ by the famous Italian street

artist Blu. Over time these settlers were joined by major private and public developments, such as the new Cricoteka building – the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor (above), which opened in 2014. Recently there has been a gradual but noticeable shift of artistic and cultural activity from Podgórze toward the neighbouring Zabłocie, whose post-industrial character offers artists greater creative freedom. This occurred after the grand opening of MOCAK , the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cracow (right). Walking from Podgórze to Zabłocie, from the site of the former ghetto to Schindler’s Factory, you can’t miss Mirosław Bałka’s sculpture ‘AuschwitzWieliczka’ ,the first work by this

world-renowned artist to be permanently installed in a public space in Poland. Another good place to visit is the former Miraculum cosmetics factory complex, where a dynamic conglomerate of cultural institutions was established in 2010 – 2012 around the Fabryka music club. In the narrow, post-industrial back streets of Zabłocie you can find authentic, non-institutional street art: stickers, posters and stencils, ceramic compositions, illegally installed sculptures, and graffiti lettering on the roofs •


John Paul II


He loved sport and theatre. He hiked through­ out his whole life. He was quick with a joke and could make a personal connection with anyone he met. Karol Wojtyła, better known as Pope John Paul II, headed the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 27 years and changed the image of the papac y. He opened the Vatican to the people. His life was not idyllic. He was born on 18 May 1920 to a family of modest means in the small Galician town of Wadowice. As a boy, he experienced tragedy: his mother died when he was 8 and his older brother, a doctor, died a few years later. Despite growing up in a family of limited means, Lolek– as friends called him – was the top pupil in his class, wrote poems, and eagerly performed in school plays (including Sophocles’ Antigone). He frequently played football—most often goal, skied and was an excellent swimmer. In 1938, he began studying Polish literature at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. When World War II broke out, he had to interrupt his studies worked as a labourer at a quarry. Still he found time to

nurture his theatrical passion, founding the Rhapsodic Theatre with his friends. After his father’s death, which affected him strongly, he entered the seminary in Cracow in 1942. Four years later he was ordained as a priest. From the time he was elected pope, on 16 October 1978, and throughout his papacy, he made direct, lively contact with people, particularly young people. It was he who launched World Youth Day, an encounter between the pope and young people in the form of a religious festival. The first was held in April 1984 in Rome and drew 300,000 young people. World Youth Day was held in Poland for the first time in 1991, attracting over 1.5 million young pilgrims from all over the world to meet with the pope in Częstochowa. During his numerous pilgrimages—John Paul II visited 135 countries during his papacy—he always gathered crowds, and not only for mass. At 3 Franciszkańska Street in Cracow there is a famed window where the faithful gathered whenever John Paul II visited Poland. Standing at the window, he would maintain a dialogue


91 John Paul II was well known for his fondness for travel. In one of his proclamations he wrote: “I firmly hope that tourism will always be an occasion for fruitful encounters: the encounter with God, the encounter with oneself, and the encounter with others” •

with the crowd until late in the evening. During his first pilgrimage, on 6 June 1979, he joked: “When I was here in Cracow before I was a totally normal person. I never climbed out onto windows. And now look at what’s happened to me.” The mountains were his natural habitat. It was there he escaped to think and breathe deeply. As pope he was a frequent guest in the Alps, but closest to him were the Tatras, where he hiked in the 1930s with his father and brother, and later as a young priest with friends and university students from from St. Florian’s parish in Cracow. It was during these outings— which, as other participants recall, could be arduous—that the students began calling him “Uncle,” so that the communist secret services suspicious of the church would not take an interest in this priest fraternizing with students. When he started working with students, Wojtyła also went on kayaking expeditions, for example on the Elbląg–Ostróda Canal at the foot of lake Jeziorak, and the Rurzyca, Słupia, Brda and Wda rivers (where the John Paul II

Trail has been laid out). Each day began with mass at a field altar built of kayaks and paddles, and ended with singing and prayers around the campfire. During one of these expeditions Wojtyła learned that he had been appointed a bishop, and after he was elected pope he told his friends that he had “moved from a kayak to the Barque of St. ­Peter.” When Wojtyła was a cardinal in Cracow, he was asked whether it was fitting for a cardinal to ski. The future pope answered in his typical fashion, “The only thing not fitting for a cardinal is to ski badly!” He skied avidly in the Tatras, on Nosal, near Kasprowy Wierch and Dolina Chochołowska. As pope he returned to the Polish mountains again in 1983 and 1997. When he had a chance to rest from his papal duties he headed out for at least a small hike on the slopes of Abruzzo. “A person needs the beauty of the landscape,” John Paul II said of his beloved mountains. There he surely felt relaxed, swapping out his cassock for sportswear and sunglasses •



Poland’s winter capital


When the sky is clear and the air is pollutionfree (which doesn’t happen all that often in Cracow), you can admire the city’s landmarks against the distant panorama of the Tatras – Poland’s highest mountain range. The beauty and healthy climate of the mountains has drawn tourists since the late 19th century, when Zakopane became a popular resort town. To this day, it is known as Poland’s winter capital. While serving as a spa, Zakopane also became a cultural centre, visited or inhabited by prominent Polish figures such as novelists Henryk Sienkiewicz and Stefan Żeromski, composer Karol Szymanowski, architect Stanisław Witkiewicz, and his son the artist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy). Stanisław Witkiewicz founded the Zakopane style of architecture, combining elements of the Podhale region’s folk art with the Secessionist style. Villas in this style (such as Atma and Dom pod Jedlami), as well as Jaszczurówka Chapel (left), still grace the city, which is visited by crowds – particularly during the winter sports season •



For the activelyinclined Jagna Marczułajtis, snowbo­ arder, 14-time gold medallist in the Polish championships, twotime junior world champion, gold and silver medallist in the European championships Apart from Zakopane itself, a lovely town, a must visit is the snow park in Witów – the biggest and most challenging one in Poland. Any winter sports enthusiast will be delighted! In the summer, there’s a great mountain biking race, the Joy Ride BIKE Festival (right). And throughout the year there’s always something to do in Zakopane’s Harenda district. Summer means cycling and mountain biking, with some very challenging routes on offer, and winter obviously

means anything you can do in the snow. I recommend a visit to the Olympic Preparation Centre, where you will find Olympians training yearround, including ski jumpers and multiple world champion cross-country skier Justyna Kowalczyk. Personally, I love the Kasprowy Wierch mountain, which is beautiful year-round.

The views have never failed to delight, and the approach by cable car is unmatched (top). Overall, it’s an excellent place! Back in Zakopane, I would also recommend the Witkacy Theatre. The plays can be challenging but are strongly tied to Zakopane and the local culture •


top: Wieliczka Salt Mine near Cracow. One of the first twelve sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1978. The nine-level underground city has its own well developed infrastructure and is more than 700 years old • right: The Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow’s Kazimierz district has been held since 1988. It is currently one of the oldest and largest such festivals in the world. Each festival consists of more than 200 events which give each of the 30,000-plus participants the opportunity to not only observe but also personally experience Jewish culture •



Cracow relies on tourism


million tourists

from Poland and abroad visit Cracow every year

Visitors by nationality English 20 % German 13.8 % Spanish 9.3 % Italian 9.1 % French 8.4 % Russian 6.7 % American (US) 4.5 % Irish 3.6 % Hungarian 2.3 % Israeli 1.8 % Czech 1.6 % Swedish 1.6 % Dutch 1.6 % Ukrainian 1.4 % Japanese 1.4 % Canadian 1.3 % Austrian 1.2 % Norwegian 1.2 % Belgian 1.1 % Finnish 0.8 % Slovak 0.7 % Danish 0.7 %


billion pln

are spent by tourists each year

20% of Cracovians are employed in tourism


RzeszĂłw RzeszĂłw is a city undergoing something of a metamorphosis. In the last few years it has gone from being the relatively poor capital of the mountainous Subcarpathian region to the most dynamically developing city in Poland, and topping the quality life rankings â€“ overtaking even Warsaw. With only two hundred thousand inhabitants, RzeszĂłw is no metropolis, yet its push toward innovation does not cease to amaze.

Here and away î ? RzeszĂłw Airport â€“ 8 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 255 km Bratislava â€“ 415 km Vienna â€“ 455 km Budapest â€“ 355 km Kiev â€“ 610 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1354  î Žâ€† 183 k î Ľâ€† 117 km2 î Š 4 087 PLN î € 47 k Culture & Nature

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Above: Poland’s first circular footbridge. Its external diameter is 39 metres, and its light and flat exterior make it appear to be floating in air. The footbridge was designed by MWM Architekci and Promost Consulting • left: The Lubomirski Castle is one of Rzeszów’s most notable historic landmarks. These days, the castle hosts exhibitions and concerts, while outdoor performances take place in its courtyard •

Growing cutting-edge industries include pharmaceuticals and information technology. However, it is the aviation sector centered in the nearby Aviation Valley that is the pride of the region. The Rzeszów – ­Jasionka Airport and the A4 motorway ensure quick access to the rest of the world. Those who prefer the slow life can use Rzeszów as a base for exploring the

enchantingly unspoilt Subcarpathian region. The area is a cultural melting pot for various ethnic traditions as reflected in the local cuisine, crafts and architecture. Wooden Orthodox churches are part of the scenery here, in a region which, over the centuries, has also been home to Ukrainians, Slovakians, Lemkos, Boykos, Hungarians, Jews, Germans and Ruthenians •



The harmony of proportion Grażyna Bochenek, Radio Rzeszów

This is a city which both hosts and their guests can enjoy; its quality of life springs from striking the perfect balanced between size, ambitions and what’s on offer. A network of cycling routes is currently being set up and there’s already a network of city bike rentals in place, making it easy to explore the riverbanks of the Wisłok.

During the summer the river can be used for kayaking or boat trips, while during the winter it is a popular place to feed the swans. You can also perch yourself on the statue of Staszek Nitka and his barge. The iconic ferryman continued to work into the 1980s, transporting anyone who wanted to cross the river. He never said

a word, just smoked his foulsmelling cigarettes. I remember that we would throw money into the pocket of his dark jacket as payment for taking us across. One of the most atmospheric places to go in the old part of Rzeszów are the Pod Kasztanami and Lubomirskich avenues. It’s well worth going for an evening stroll amongst the wonderfully illuminated Art Nouveau townhouses (above). Theatre lovers will undoubtably take advantage of visiting the Lubomirski Palace (left), the war-time birthplace of worldrenowned theatre innovator Jerzy Grotowski •



Rzeszów is famed for its original statues. There’s the Revolution Monument (right), which proved quite controversial given its vagina-like shape; the statue of Rzeszów’s ferryman Stanisław Nitka or the statue of renowned local musician Tadeusz Nalepa, who can be found striding along 3 Maja Street. Other unusual pieces of sculpture include a statue of a Rzeszów tearaway shooting a hand catapult, a composition entitled ‘The Double Quick’ depicting a volleyball match and a monument commemorating Poland’s greatest football manager Kazimierz Górski (BELOW) •

The city of bedtime cartoons Jakub Półtorak WW– independent theatre director Rzeszów’s main high street, 3 Maja Street, is bursting with attractions and places to visit. There are beautiful historic

townhouses, churches and the Piarist Monastery complex, as well as the District Museum where you can admire the works of some of Poland’s classic painters including Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Jacek Malczewski, Józef Chełmoński and Józef Mehoffer. At the Zorza cinema entrance, make sure to try the best ice-cream in

Rzeszów, known to everyone as ‘lody u myszki’ (the mouse’s icecream). The shop’s name refers to the Mickey Mouse drawing on the signboard. Some of Rzeszów’s other unique attractions also include the Underground Tourist Route and the Museum of Bedtime Cartoons (BELOW) •



The Lemko People Before World War II, the Lemkos made up a tight-knit community in over three hundred places across Poland, complete with their own language and culture. However – following the policy of transforming Poland from a multi-ethnic state into a homogenous Communist one – a decision to disperse them was made. However, the Lemko culture is now making a come-back •

Natalia Hładyk, The Lemko Union When traveling across the region, it is worth going along to some of the various Lemko events. The Łemkowski Kermesz in Olchowiec, an annual festival of Lemko culture, is a two-day celebration put on by the local community. It’s a cultural event mixed with a religious celebration and a church fair where people show off their handwork and crafts, put on concerts and sporting competitions, and hold a bazaar. During the last weekend of July, the Lemko Union normally organises the Łemkowska Watra (LEFT), where you can listen folk groups playing traditional music as well various types of folk-rock. It’s also an opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine. Well worth visiting is the Museum of Lemko Culture in Zyndranowa (ABOVE), an exceptional openair museum where you can learn about traditional crafts •


Aviation Valley Rzeszów is home to the headquarters of the ‘Aviation Valley’ Association of Aviation Industry Entrepreneurs. This a collection of companies which design,

build and repair aircraft and aircraft parts, as well as conduct developmental research in the aviation field. It also runs its own flying school. The Association’s

aim is the collaborative and effective realisation of new and innovative projects, as well as growth of the industry as a whole •

Fuselages (Airbus, Boeing) Sędziszów Małopolski

Electronic systems – instrumentation & control systems, steering systems, data acquisition systems Mielec Bearings Kolbuszowa

Metallic coatings Mielec Pilot training Dębica

Fuselages Krosno Gears Dębica

Propellers Jasienica Aircraft engine elements Rzeszów Landing gear elements Krosno Aircraft engine elements Jasionka Grease applicators, washers/ shims, pipe sleeves Jasło

Aerospace industry tools Instrumentation & control device Bearings Replacement parts Spare parts Tool management Technological services Aerospace-grade chemicals KLX - Rzeszów branch


Lublin City of inspirations Lublin is Poland’s youth capital – not surprising, considering that one in four people living here is a university student. Young people flock to music festivals, theatre festivals, ­cinemas and, of course, clubs. The background for all this entertainment is the well-preserved Old Town, with its irregular-shaped Market Square, the Crown Tribunal which starts the 300 m U ­ nderground Tourist Route, and stunning tenement buildings – Renaissance, Baroque and ­neo-Classical.

Here and away î ? Lublin Airport â€“ 10 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 155 km Budapest â€“ 490 km Minsk â€“ 450 km Vilnius â€“ 425 km Kaliningrad â€“ 410 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1317  î Žâ€† 343 k î Ľâ€† 147 km2 î Š 3 956 PLN î € 71 k Culture & Nature

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above: Urban Highline is an extreme version of slacklining, with the webbing suspended between two buildings. This is one of the largest highlining

events in the world and the only one to be entirely held in the city centre (mostly in the historic old town) •

Lublin is not just old walls and history that is visible to the naked eye, but also a modern approach to memory and avantgarde artistic initiatives. An expression of this can be found in the city’s numerous murals, which often recall that which is only present through its absence, such as the huge queues to shops during Communist times, or Jewish culture

(before World War II the city was home to the largest Talmudic study centre in the world, Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva). Another original method of getting to know the city is during the annual excursion along the route described in the works of Józef Czechowicz, a Lublin poet who died in World War II. It’s always held during a full moon in July •


above: Market Square with the Crown Tribunal building in the centre. The Crown Tribunal replaced a wooden city hall which burned down in 1389. The new building was in place by the 15th century • Right: Lublin is betting on ecology. It is one of three cities in Poland that use trolleybuses, and the network was recently expanded. A prototype electric bus is also in operation. You can even admire a trolleybus mural painted by the French artists Zoer & Velvet •




Right: Lublin is one of Poland’s oldest and most important theatre centres, always open to alternative and creative ferment, from the Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices to the Carnaval Sztukmistrzów (Circus and Street Theatre Carnival) •

King Casimir III the Great orde­ red defensive walls and gates to be built around Lublin in the mid-14th century, following a menacing Tatar raid. Of these medieval fortifications, the best preserved are the Cracow Gate (Brama Krakowska, above), which was named after the route and the suburb towards which it led. The City Gate (Brama Grodzka, left), which was fully rebuilt along with its neighboring houses, (current home to the ‘Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre’ Centre) and the round Gothic Tower (FAR LEFT) •



City with a view Jacek Lusiński – film director, screenwriter and songwriter

I love to go to the restaurant at the Hotel Victoria (below). The huge neon letters spelling out the name of the hotel create an atmospheric red glow, and you can admire the panorama of the entire city from there. The Jewish Cemetery (bottom) is beautiful. You have to make an appointment with a guide before visiting, but it’s worth the effort. The guide

tells some fascinating stories. I particula­rly remember one ­mysterious tombstone decorated comple­tely differently from the ­others. In the Jewish tradition, engra­vings on tombstones all have a symbolic significance, and they are repeated in all the cemeteries, but this one matzevah is like no other. No one knows why or what the decorations mean. The cem-

etery is somewhat wild with abundant undergrowth, creating an incredible atmosphere. For total relaxation hike up Wzgórze Czwartek (Thursday Hill). There’s an old church and a school there, but the goal of the hike is to relax on the grass, enjoy a picnic and take in the splendid view of Lublin •



Lublin Rural Museum The open-air museum maintains peasant huts, noble manor houses, and two wooden churches: Greek Catholic (above) and Roman Catholic. The museum’s traditional Dutch-style windmill (left) was recently brought back to life thanks to the efforts of an experienced miller •


The German concentration camp in Lublin, commonly known as Majdanek, operated between October 1941 and July 1944. The camp was meant to serve as a source of free labour to be used in building a German empire in the East. Prisoners at the camp hailed from nearly 30 countries. The Monument to Struggle and Martyrdom, designed by Wiktor Tołkin and Janusz Dembek, was built following an architectural compe-

tition held at the request of former prisoners who found the then existing memorials to be too modest. The competition

attracted significant attention throughout the country and some 140 designs were submitted to the jury •



top: Kazimierz Dolny’s cobblestone market square is the city’s focal point. The arcaded houses (left) lining the square t survived largely unscathed to this day above: The Kazimierz Landscape Park features Europe’s largest concentration of ravines. One of the most spectacular ones is the Korzeniowy Dół (Pit of Roots) ravine •


Kazimierz The views from the hills over the town and the Vistula’s Małopolska Gorge will take your breath away. There’s no end to the sunbathing, hiking, biking and boating opportunities. During the winter there are several ski stations nearby. The location is also ideal for cross-country skiing, sledding and sleigh rides. The residents add to the magic of Kazimierz and are eager to share tidbits of local history and legends in the cafés lining the market square. Summertime brings a number of festivals, such as the Festival of Folk Groups and Singers, Kazimiernikejszyn, offering concerts and active recreation, and the Two Riversides festival. The musical group Dziady Kazimierskie sings about the beauty of Kazimierz and its surroundings, with their concerts attracting both young and old •

Town of painters Włodzimierz Dembowski, musician with the groups Łąki Łan and Dziady Kazimierskie Just 44 km from Lublin, Kazimierz Dolny is one of Poland’s most beautiful and unusual towns. With its many historic landmarks, it is regarded as the Lublin region’s Renaissance gem. It is the centre point of the Kazimierz Landscape Park and the Land of Loess Gorges, with thousands of these geological formations in the area. Because of its picturesque character, Kazimierz became a favourite town for artists, particularly painters. For over a century this beautifully situated town crammed with Renaissance landmarks has served as a mecca for artistic bohemians – not just painters, but figures from the literary and film worlds. This cultural tradition is continued today with events such as the Two Riversides Film and Art Festival (held in Kazimierz and Janowiec, across the Vistula) •


BiaĹ‚ystok & Podlasie The New East BiaĹ‚ystok â€“ a city on Poland’s eastern frontier and the capital of a culturally diverse region steeped in tradition. Yet it is a city which looks confidently into the future, developing its innovative scientific potential and maintaining a charm that combines big-city aspirations with that of a town hidden among greenery. This appeal is epitomised by its new opera house â€“ constructed of glass, concrete and living plants.

Here and away î ? Olsztyn Airport â€“ 150 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 175 km Minsk â€“ 305 km Vilnius â€“ 220 km Kaliningrad â€“ 245 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1691  î Žâ€† 295 k î Ľâ€† 102 km2 î Š 3 707 PLN î € 35 k Culture & Nature

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right: City Hall in Białystok – a late-Baroque building in Kościuszki Market Square, it is the home of the Podlaskie Museum •

In Białystok you feel like you are on a train traveling from 19th to the 21st century. It’s a town with a multi-ethnic past that has taken a new lease of life, aiming to become the bright modern centre of Poland’s north-east region. To see this in action, you just have walk through the town centre, stopping of at Lipowa Street – the city’s main hub. Here you can see the bold and modern church of St. Roch, art nouveau villas and the 19th century St. Nicholas Orthodox church, alongside Białystok’s new ‘icon’: The European Art Centre – Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic. Right in the town-centre you can also see the 18th century Branicki Palace surrounded by fairy­ tale French-style baroque gardens. Once the residence of the aristocratic Branicki family, it now houses the headquarters of

the Medical University of Białystok as well as Arsenał – the top modern art gallery in the region – squeezed in the palace’s old gunpowder store. Confidently into the future From its baroque palaces to its tiny wooden houses with painted shutters, Białystok is confidently racing toward the future. The impressive Centre for Modern Education at the Białystok University of Technology has produced student projects such as the award-winning Mars rover designs (top). Another addition to Białystok’s transformation into the ‘New East’ is the Białystok Science and Technology Park start-up incubator •



The Białystok alternative Mateusz Tymura – theatre director, actor and urban activist. Creator of the independent Latarnia theatre and co-founder of the ‘Bojary district is becoming cultured’ initiative. Bojary (middle left) – is an intriguingly unspoilt neighbourhood with old wooden buildings that are disappearing before our eyes. In order to get a feel for the place it’s better to visit with a local guide, or an old local who may even invite you to see their house or garden. ‘Up to Date’ is an electronic music festival (TOP LEFT) that takes place in September. It’s organised by young and creative individuals making it the best music event in Białystok. Węglowa is an alternative space developed by the Kreatywne Podlasie (Creative Podlasie) association in old 1930s military depots. Białystok is also the worldwide centre for Esperanto. It is home to the Ludwik Zamenhof Centre, named after the creator of this extraordinary language •

Podlasie’s mosaic of diversity All of Podlasie’s cultures and peoples have found their symbolic home at the ‘Borderland of Arts, Cultures and Nations’ foundation. Run by Krzysztof Czyżewski (left), the centre has its headquarters in the town of Sejny near the Lithuanian border. People come here from all over Europe and there is always something going on: conferences, concerts, outings and workshops. Another ‘Borderland’ – related place of interest is the former

family manor house of Polish Nobel Prize winning poet Czesław Miłosz. Located in the village of Krasnogruda, the revitalised manor house serves as a museum dedicated to the poet’s life as well as the International Centre for Dialogue. The centre features an excellent programme of social and cultural events, providing intellectual stimulation for the entire region •



Home grown tourism Monika Szewczyk – director of Białystok’s Arsenał art gallery which promotes contemporary art, with a particular focus on cultural relations in Eastern Europe. One of Białystok’s great assets are its beautifully maintained parks – just like the one next to our gallery in the Branicki Palace (top). We also have a cycling route network which whisks you out of the city, namely to the beautiful town of Supraśl with its well-preserved old buildings and highly original Wierszalin puppet theatre. If you’re looking for an evening out in good company and interesting events, the clubcum-cafe Zmiana Klimatu on Warszawska Street, is a good place to start. It’s an informal cultural space which invites people to come and stay for a while. I’d also recommend the new (second) branch of our gallery Arsenał, housed in a very inspiring, post-industrial interior of the Old Power Station (above right). The building’s layout has meant that we can finally organise large-scale exhibitions. I’m also a big fan of Białystok’s Jewish Heritage Trail

which was set up by the University of Białystok Foundation. On the way to Kruszyniany, with its Tatar minority, is the village of Krynki, home to a cultural organisation which I really admire – Villa Sokrates. The organisation is run by Paweł Grześ, who works alongside the outstanding artist Leon Tarasewicz, and

is centered on the town’s local values and Belorussian community, as well as presenting the work of Poland’s most distinguished artists. I always want to drop by and see what’s happening there •




Coral reef Adam Wajrak – journalist, ­environmental activist, and author of several books on environmental topics. Adam currently lives in the village of Teremiski in Podlasie.

Janów Podlaski Janów Podlaski is home to Poland’s oldest state-run stud farm which holds its annual auction every August. The horses are renowned for their beauty – in 2015 a record 1.6 million Euro was paid for the thoroughbred filly Pepita. Janów Podlaski horses are a favourite with collectors across the globe. For example, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and his wife have been coming to the auctions for years •



Podlasie’s pride and joy is the Białowieża Forest, a woodland area unlike any other in Europe. Not even in North America will you find such a well-preserved lowland forest in the temperate regions. If I had to compare it to anything it would be to the Great Barrier Reef. The best preserved part of the forest is the Białowieża National Park (BELOW) where you can see wolves, lynxes, deer and, of course, bison (left) – the last representatives of European megafauna whose population only slightly exceeds that of the great panda. Seeing them in the wild is like stepping back a thousand years in time. The Biebrza Marshes and the surrounding Biebrza National Park are vast open areas proudly inhabited by elk, as well as cranes and masses of other bird species in the spring. It is best viewed from the embankment at the nearby town of Strękowa Góra or on a Biebrza River tour in ‘Polish canoes’ – traditional long boats. I also recommend taking a beaverwatching tour at the Narew National Park. The Narew River spreads out into several tributaries like a mini version of the Amazon •

116 Podlasie’s rich culture can be seen on every corner. The region’s Jewish population left behind wonderful synagogues in both Orla and Tykocin (bottom right), both of which have an extraordinary feel to them with their old architecture and their well-preserved, traditional layout. Also in Tykocin, is the picturesque late-Baroque Holy Trinity Catholic church (BOTTOM). And almost every town in the region can boast a beautiful Orthodox church (right), the most beautiful of these places of worship can be found in the towns of Grabarka and Kruszyniany. It’s also worth taking a trip to go and see the wooden mosque and Tatar graveyard, as well as sampling Tatar cuisine in a local yurt (below) •


117 Sejny

Cultural mix Alongside its scientific potential stands Białystok’s equally important cultural heritage. You are reminded of this throughout the city as Catholic and Orthodox churches sit side by side with now-abandoned synagogues. Białystok and the Podlasie region are the most culturally diverse areas in Poland. And even though the area’s large Jewish population was wiped out during World War II, large minorities of Belorussians, Tatars and Lithuanians still live in the region. These multiethnic towns and villages are surrounded by Białowieża Forest, the last area of primeval forest in Europe •


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Olsztyn & Warmia Eco-city Olsztyn grew in lands once inhabited by pagan Prussian tribes who worshipped trees, and the city retains a close tie to nature. Unmatched anywhere else in Europe, it has numerous lakes within city limits and an urban forest of over a thousand hectares, and recently added Poland’s largest inland urban beach. All of this combines with the complex multicultural heritage of the region to create an intriguing mixture.

Here and away î ? Olsztyn Airport â€“ 56 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 175 km Stockholm â€“ 635 Minsk â€“ 470 km Vilnius â€“ 330 km Kaliningrad â€“ 105 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1353  î Žâ€† 175 k î Ľâ€† 88 km2 î Š 3954 PLN î € 31 k

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Olsztyn & Warmia

The view that captures the eye when entering Olsztyn is red roofs emerging from a sea of greenery, and this image is not erased even by the large tower blocks added to the city centre. The medieval Chapter of Warmia Bishopric Castle towers over the city. Now a stop on the European Route of Brick Gothic, the castle was built by the Teutonic Order and was later adminis-


tered by Polish bishops (next page bottom right). In the 16th century it was defended against the Teutonic Knights by Copernicus himself, at that time a Warmian canon. On the wall of the castle you can see nothing less than the hanging toilet of the man who stopped the sun and moved the earth – Copernicus. The landmarks are a reminder of the complex history of this ter-


Olsztyn & Warmia

ritory, where Catholicism rubbed against Protestantism, and Slavic elements with Germanic. Before World War II, Warmia and Olsztyn (then Allenstein) lay within the boundaries of German Prussia, but since 1945 have been part of Poland. History intertwines with nature here. Olsztyn has the natural conditions to become a modern eco-city. More and more consciously, the

city relies on green technologies, obtaining energy from renewable sources, and lowemissions public transport (a tram network covering the entire city). Apart from nature, Olsztyn is also the Polish capital of ballroom dancing, as well as martial arts, as competitors training here have won honours around the world, like international MMA champion Mamed Khalidov • Below: lake Ukiel, unofficially known as Crooked Lake (Jezioro Krzywe). It is the largest lake in Olsztyn and has a maximum depth of 43 metres. Numerous recreational facilities including sailboat and kayak marinas, the city beach and leisure centres lay along its shore •

above: polar bear plunge participants at an Olsztyn lake demonstrating Polish toughness •


Olsztyn & Warmia

Kortowo Hanna Wróblewska, director of Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, comes from Olsztyn, and she thinks the city’s strongest point is its lakes: ‘I remember how strange it seemed when I realized that there are cities that do not have a dozen lakes where you can go for a walk or a swim anytime you want’. The Kortowo academic village in Olsztyn, part of the University of Warmia and Mazury, built in picturesque former German barracks, is located right on the lake. Students can head straight from class to the beach! •


Olsztyn: suspended between nature and culture Edwin Bendyk – journalist and commentator with Polityka weekly covering development issues, now based in Warsaw but keeping an eye on his ­hometown of Olsztyn

Olsztyn & Warmia

Olsztyn hangs suspended between nature and culture, with nature taking the upper hand. It’s more than a county town but not yet a big city. The city continually tries, with varying success, to exploit the impressive energy from its reserves of social capital, symbolized by such associations as Tratwa (activating local communities and cultural minorities, below) and Borussia (building a culture of dialogue between people across differing nationalities and traditions). One hope for the future is the OKO phenomenon (Olsztyn Citizens of Culture), a progressive cultural movement in the city that is still in its infancy. In terms of nature, the popular Jezioro Długie (Long Lake) has become a charming

spot, where Olsztyn’s still tiny ‘hipster’ element and the cosmopolitan middle class flock to show off their sports moves and cycle on the path around the lake. The lake serves as an interface between culture and nature, and the northern shore runs along the Municipal Forest (above), whose stately, murky trees inspire the imagination to find traces of the legendary Smętek, a demon from Warmian folk mythology accompanied by goblins called kłobuki appearing in various guises. My other favourite hot spot in Olsztyn is in the Old Town, a bar called Vinyl, popular with fans of local varieties of beer and music served on vintage vinyl records •

Olsztyn & Warmia


Zatorze and the city forest Karol krl Kalinowski – ­cartoon­ist and comic-book artist who works at the Olsztyn Municipal Library. His work Łauma won the prize for best comic book at the International Festival of Comics in Łódź in 2009 and is being made into a full-length animated film. For visitors, I always recom­ mend Zatorze (above) – the name Olszynites have given to everything ‘on the other side of the tracks’ .Here is the loveliest part of the city, full of charming townhouses, churches, parks and cemeteries – something for urban vagabonds seeking something beyond the deck of postcards. The district used to enjoy ill fame, but all that remains of that is fame and a rare atmosphere. Crooked Lake-Jezioro Krzywe (aka Ukiel), where we relax on the municipal beach – a truly impressive recreational complex. If you’re feeling lazy

there is sand and sun-tanning, for the more ambitious a marina and a variety of water sports – I don’t even know what they’re called. Right next to the pier is

the restaurant Przystań, where you can arrive by boat •


Olsztyn & Warmia

Warmia This green city is the focal point of the Warmia region’s enchanting natural environment. The region’s topography is ideally suited for dwarves with tiny hills, small lakes and enormous forests. There’s plenty of nature to go around as well as preserved German architecture with the iconic red brick and wood ‘Prussian walls’ – a local variety of half-timbered walling. The region’s tourist infrastructure is mostly based on cozy pensions and small traditional farms.

Looking for biodiversity? There’s plenty to go around. The area has always been famed for its mosaic of crops: a field of cereal grains here, rapeseed there, a few vegetable plots and some orchards thrown in for good measure. Warmia is a great place for a holiday in the country, interactions with untrammeled nature are guaranteed and more and more exhausted city-dwellers are deciding to relocate here permanently •

Olsztyn & Warmia

Urban refugees

Joanna Posoch from Warsaw runs the lavender farm Lawendowe Pole (left), the Lavender Living Museum, and an agrotourism farm in Nowe Kawkowo, Warmia.

Many ‘refugees’ from big cities live in Warmia, where they finally find the space to develop their dream activity, for which they previously lacked time and favourable surroundings. Glendoria is a site in the village of Ględy promoting ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping). Guests stay in spacious and exclusive tents with wooden floors, and the barn in the centre of the property has been converted into a clubhouse offering slow-food meals and massages (Below right).

125 The mobile spa offers treatments in the open air (bottom). Marcin Wiechowski settled in Włodowo several years ago and discovered that Warmian apple trees producing sour fruit are ideal varieties for cider (­Below left). He founded a farm called Kwaśne Jabłko (Sour Apple) devoted to apple cider. His cider has won awards and is offered at the finest restaurants. The farm also offers agrotourism combining traditional architecture with contemporary design.

126 The Węgajty Rural Theatre, (right) founded 30 years ago, is a legendary location on the cultural map of Warmia, with productions alluding to the works of Poland’s theatrical pioneer Jerzy Grotowski. The players put old Warmian rituals into practice, wandering through the villages with instruments, and even performing works by Witold Gombrowicz in a barn. The Revita Warmia Foundation is based in the small town of Jeziorany, known around Poland for a popular radio show set there. The foundation was established by Rafał Mikułowski, who settled there after years abroad in Mali and France. In a gallery on the main square, he and his wife Marcelina created an open space for gatherings with grass-roots tourism information about Warmia (Below). They showcase local craftsmen, promote local

Olsztyn & Warmia

producers of traditional foods, and conduct intergenerational workshops and a social textile studio •


Forests take up 1,900 hectares which amounts to


Lake Ukiel’s surface area of



of the city’s area.

makes it one of Poland’s 100 largest lakes.

Olsztyn Rivers in Olsztyn have a total length of 24 km, of which



the length of the Łyna River within the city’s boundaries

The city is home to


species of protected plants including the western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis)


species of nesting birds including corn crake


Bydgoszcz & ToruĹ„ Bydgoszcz and ToruĹ„, cities just 50 km apart, are divided by a conflict reaching back to the Middle Ages. ToruĹ„ was founded by Hermann von Salza, Grand Master of the ­Teutonic Knights, the order that would go on to rule the city for the next 221 years. Bydgoszcz, meanwhile, was vested with town rights by King Casimir III the Great, and played a major role in the Polish crown’s great war against the Teutonic Order. This division is still echoed today, when Bydgoszcz residents teasingly call Torunians ‘Teutonic’ and, in return, are referred to as ‘typhus’ because of the pestilence that decimated their city in the 17th century.



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Bydgoszcz & Toruń

129 Bydgoszcz is a phenomenally musical city. Opera Nova (left), located on the banks of the Brda River, is one of the most modern and comprehensive musical theatres in Poland. The city’s atmospheric music district features the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic. Its concert hall is known for its excellent acoustics. Distinguished musicians from around the world have played there, including Rafał Blechacz, graduate of the Bydgoszcz Music Academy and winner of the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in 2005 •

above: A view of Toruń’s Medieval Town – the oldest part of the historic city (which also includes the ‘New Town’ and the Teutonic Knights’ castle).

From the very beginning, Toruń was a commercial city and a major centre for international trade. During the Middle Ages, Toruń was one of Central

Europe’s largest centres of arts. Today, the city’s numerous preserved historic buildings and artefacts are a testament to its former status •


Bydgoszcz & Toruń


Bydgoszcz flows along The city of Bydgoszcz, lying on the Brda River and the Bydgoszcz Canal, is naturally linked to water. The string of 19th century buildings along the Młynówka branch across from Wyspa Młyńska (Mill Island, left) represents the heart of the city. The granaries (above) built along the river in the late 18th century by the merchant Samuel Gottlieb Engelmann offer a characteristic view depicted in the city’s logo. One of the attractions here are water tram tours which let tourists admire the city from the river •

Bydgoszcz & Toruń


The city’s musical side

Sławomir Janicki – founder of the famed Bydgoszcz music club Mózg, connected with the alternative rock and jazz scene. Bydgoszcz hosts several major festivals, particularly those showcasing contemporary music: the Fonomo Music & Film Festival and the Mózg International Festival of Contemporary Music and Visual Arts. The Bydgoszcz Music Festival, launched in 1963, is one of the oldest in Poland. The unique Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis Festival of Central & Eastern European

Early Music, founded in 1966, attracts leading performers from around Europe. The highlight of the spring is the Bydgoszcz Opera Festival (above), held in the

modern Opera Nova building. Every three years the city’s musical profile gets a boost from the International Paderewski Piano Competition •

Inne Sytuacje (Other Situations) International Theatre Festival (above) seeks out new performing arts phenomena. But the best-known

festival in Bydgoszcz is the Camerimage International Film Festival, devoted to the work and art of cinematographers •



Touch Toruń gothic The Gothic walls of Toruń’s landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town complex (above), invite visitors to take a trip back in time. It’s not hard to find traces of the distant past, particularly the history connected with famed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (below left), whose discovery turned the universe inside-out. The path from the late-Gothic house where Copernicus was born (right) to the modern Planetarium links Medieval thought with contemporary popular science •

Bydgoszcz & Toruń


Bydgoszcz & Toruń

above: A work presented at the Bella Skyway Festival, one of the numerous European-scope cultural events in Toruń. The festival has been held since

2009, and was initially launched as part of the city’s efforts to become a 2016 European Capital of Culture •

Exploring the city Magdalena Wichrowska, lecturer and author of Toruń, City of Women While away the hours at the Znaki Czasu Centre of Contemporary Art (left). Apart from the interesting exhibitions, Toruń’s modern art centre is a pleasant and welcoming space where you could spend almost the entire day. The cinema there offers a wellcurated selection of artistic and independent films. Browse the well-stocked art bookstore or the user-friendly Sömmerrings’ Reading Room, then stop by the Parter Café for a tasty snack and gather your strength to explore the city further. The panoramic view of the Old Town from the art centre terrace is a must-see! •


Bydgoszcz & Toruń

Toruń – the cosmic and the everyday

Robert Czekański, Toruń entrepreneur and board game fanatic

The ‘Mill of Knowledge’ centre has opened at Richter’s Mills, with a 50-foot-long Foucault’s Pendulum (right). And the Toruń Centre for Astronomy operated by Nicolaus Copernicus University in the nearby village of Piwnice, features Poland’s largest radio telescope. Fans of sweets and baked goods will surely not skip the Gingerbread Museum (above and opposite page), a new interactive centre devoted to nothing but the history of Toruń’s most famous snack •


Toruń gingerbreads Toruń gingerbreads have been famous since the bakers’ guild began baking them late in the 14th century. Toruń, as a member of the Hanseatic League, had relatively easy access to spices which are a necessary ingredient for making gingerbread dough. Top quality local honey and imported flour were also on hand. For a long time Toruń competed with Nurem-

berg, Germany for gingerbread bragging rights. Eventually, the two cities’ guilds came to an agreement in 1556 and exchanged rrecipes. To this day, however, Toruń's gingerbread is known for using much more black pepper than its German counterpart. There are two kinds of Toruń gingerbreads:

• the cake-like sweet, spicy and soft variety which is a perfect treat at any time; and • the hard ornamental kind, (below) made using carefully carved wooden (or wax) moulds. The latter come in a variety of shapes and are usually kept as souvenirs or exchanged as gifts. Of course, the heart-shaped ones are given as tokens of love.

Fish – a popular shape as there used to be a large community of fishermen in Toruń. Toruń skyline with silhouettes of major buildings.

Heart with herb designs. Herbs and spices were widely used by townfolk.

Carriage – how the nobility travelled.

Horse – a lion's share of the moulds depict horses. Nicolaus Copernicus - born in Toruń.

Horseman – only the rich could afford a horse, most people travelled on foot.


Tricity GdaĹ„sk, Gdynia, Sopot A sea of possibilities Poland’s Tricity is an urban phenomenon. A conurbation with a population of over a million centered around multiple hubs, it is, first and foremost, a unique arrangement of three cities, each with an entirely distinct character. GdaĹ„sk, is the cradle of the freedom movement that overthrew Communism in Europe; Sopot, a thriving, elegant seaside resort town; and Gdynia, a lively port city notable for its modernist buildings from the 1930s. The SKM commuter rail system links these centres and makes it easy for visitors to appreciate the distinct flavour of the three cities.

Here and away î ? GdaĹ„sk Airport  – 11 km* îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 300  km* Berlin â€“ 405 km* Vilnius â€“ 430  km* Stockholm â€“ 555  km* * Distances from GdaĹ„sk GdaĹ„sk Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1264  î Žâ€† 462 k î Ľâ€† 262 km2 î Š 4814 pln î € 79 k Gdynia Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1926  î Žâ€† 248 k î Ľâ€† 135 km2 î Š 4458 pln î € 15 k Sopot Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1901  î Žâ€† 37 k î Ľâ€† 17 km2 î Š 4646 pln î € 2 k Combined tourist facilities Culture & Nature

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Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot


City of freedom The first stop is Długi Targ (Long Market) in the Old Town of Gdańsk, with the Renaissance City Hall and the Artus Court where merchants once met. The Old Town, largely rebuilt after World War II, recalls the mercantile power of a port centre with a long history, where Slavic and German influences continually intermingled. Gdańsk was a royal city and a member of the Hanseatic League

above: The Old Port in Gdańsk, with medieval port crane (Żuraw) •

– a group of Baltic and North Sea ports and mercantile centres operating from the Middle Ages. Gdańsk is also where World War II began, and it is here that the Museum of the Second World War is being built. The legendary Gdańsk Shipyard was the site of strikes led by the charismatic electrician, the Nobel Peace Prize winning former President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa. The strikes which led


Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot

Stadion Energa Gdańsk (above) was built for the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament hosted by Poland and Ukraine. It has a seating capacity of 41,620 •

to the creation of the Solidarity independent trade union, marked the beginning of the end of Communism in this part of Europe. You will want to stop by the old shipyard when visiting the European Solidarity Centre (top) and observe how social and artistic initiatives are sprouting in this post-industrial space, such as the Wyspa Institute of Art, as well as a new district known as Młode

Miasto (Young City). Gdańsk is home to huge residential block estates, such as Przymorze, which includes Poland’s longest building, ‘Falowiec’ (860 m, above left). However, it also boasts the bucolic Oliwa district, which is full of old houses, antique shops, and the historic Oliwa Cathedral (the site of the International Organ Music Festival), all surrounded by a lovely park •

Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot


& Eastern Europe, the tearing down of the Iron Curtain, and the unification of Europe. Gdańsk isn’t just about modern history like the fall of Communism or the place where World War II broke out. It’s a city with a history stretching back over a millennium. For centuries it was the biggest and wealthiest city in the Polish Commonwealth. The beauty of the city is apparent as we stroll along the Royal Route from the Golden Gate, along Długa Street and the Long Market, with its Fountain of Neptune, to the Green Gate, touring the interiors of the Main Town Hall and the Artus Court. But before heading down the Royal Route, it’s worth checking out the Amber Museum (above),

the only one of its kind in the world. For many, Gdańsk is the world capital of amber. Here you can breathe in the scent of an amber forest, learn how the ‘Baltic Gold’ was formed millions of years ago, and examine old and new wonders made from this unique material. Along Mariacka Street it seems that time stood still hundreds of years ago. St. Mary’s Basilica is the world’s largest brick church, with an 80 m tower offering a view of Gdańsk and the bay. One tip for the ladies: many of the streets are paved with cobblestones, so high heels are a no-no. After wandering around Gdańsk, if you feel like relaxing to music, I recommend an organ concert at the Oliwa Cathedral •

Home, not by birth but by choice

Danuta Wałęsa– Poland’s First Lady between 1990 –1995. Wife of Lech Wałęsa (left: photo from the 80s), legendary Solidarity leader and first democratically elected President of post-war Poland, and mother to their 8 children. Her bestselling autobiography Dreams and Secrets was published in 2011. I am a Gdańsk person, not by birth but by choice. It was here in Gdańvsk that I met my husband and started a family, lived through the tragic events of December 1970, the joyous August of 1980 and the birth of the Solidarity movement with its hopes for freedom, the sadness of martial law, and finally the fall of Communism in 1989. After all these years, I think of Gdańsk as the place where I was reborn. When my husband became the first democratically elected President of post-war Poland, I had the opportunity to visit many, many places around the world. Each of them had its own intriguing history, interesting buildings, and specific character and atmosphere. But Gdańsk is special, and I wouldn’t trade its unique atmosphere for anywhere else on earth. Let’s begin with the European Solidarity Centre on the old grounds of the Gdańsk Shipyard. With its shape, covered with special sheeting, the building suggests a ship under construction. The rich exhibition presents the history of Solidarity and other freedom movements which led to the fall of Communism in Central

140 A screening of the film Olter during the Gdańsk Streetwaves festival. Streetwaves is an urban initiative which heralds the start of the summer season by brining art out of the clubs and galleries and into Gdańsk’s various districts. The festival forsakes the city centre to discover new places where art and culture can thrive •

Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot

Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot



Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot

European chic Prof. Jerzy Limon – literary scholar, director of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre The National Museum in Gdańsk and its stunning ‘The Last Judgment’ triptych by Hans Memling (right) is – apart from Leonardo’s ‘Lady with an Ermine’ in Cracow – the finest painting on display in Poland. The museum is worth visiting for this work alone, but also features an excellent exhibition of Dutch and Polish paintings. The Red Hall at the Main Town Hall, with significant works by the Flemish painter Isaak van den Blocke. The impressive plafond made up of more than a dozen paintings depicts the allegory of trade

Art livens up the city Aneta Szyłak – curator and art critic, artistic director of the Alternativa festival. The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre is an architectural gem designed by the Venetian

between Gdańsk and Poland. Numerous Biblical motifs, genre scenes, and a panorama of the city completed the masterpiece •

architect Renato Rizzi. Sometimes referred to as the Coffin because of its elongated shape and dark ceramic covering, the building alludes to the architecture of Gdańsk but also poses a challenge to the city’s ageless red brick. The open roof enables performances under the stars, appropriate for the Elizabethan theatre. The Shake-

speare Festival is held here every year. The Museum of Contemporary Art is being built at the Gdańsk Shipyard, in a complex of landmark spaces where the Alternativa International Festival of Visual Arts has been held for the past 5 years. Alternativa also offers the Open Garden community initiviative (left). Located on the Drewnica peninsula, on the banks of Martwa Wisła with a view of shipping cranes and the industrial island of Ostrów, the museum will be easy to find between the European Solidarity Centre and the Museum of the Second World War. Dwie Zmiany Social Cooperative was founded by artists in the legendary restaurant called Złoty Ul in Sopot’s Monciak area. The rebirth of the cooperative movement is particularly exciting because it helps artists in financial straits. Meetings,


Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot

Gdańsk Sopot Gdynia

Discover for yourself Magdalena Grzebałkowska – writer, reporter, author of the controversial volume of historical reportage 1945: War and Peace. Lives in Sopot. In Gdańsk, I always take visitors to Biskupia Górka, a district a little ways from the Main Town and its landmarks. The buildings here are not in the best repair, but they retain their original architecture, and old German inscriptions emerge under the crumbling stucco. Żabi Kruk in the Lower Town, on a branch of the Motława River, offers kayak rentals. You get a map and paddle around the Old Town, not unlike the canals of Amsterdam. You can navigate through water gates, paddle into the port, and view the city from an entirely new perspective! I’ve lived in Sopot for a long time, but I only recently discovered for myself the Forest Opera by hiking along the routes

covered in Paweł Huelle’s latest novel Sing Gardens. During the Communist era, this amphitheatre in the woods was the site of popular music festivals. I avoid the noisy entertainment strip of Monciak, but love visiting Upper Sopot, with its villas, gardens, and magic nooksperfect for a walk. I recommend the delightful Juncke Villa at 3 Goyki Street, with its rectangular tower and surrounding park, built for a Gdańsk wine merchant. I also love the impressive Berger House at 24 Obrońców Westerplatte Street, one of the most beautiful examples of Sopot villa architecture. The heart of Sopot is the pier, crowded but still enchanting. The domesticated seagull Kasia lives down at the very end of the pier.

In Gdynia the modernist apartment buildings along Świętojańska Street are a must! And obviously the Port of Gdynia: along Nabrzeże Francuskie you can reach out and touch the ships for a tangible sense of what a port city is all about. Across the way is the Marine Station from 1931 (above), where emigrants checked in for their passage to South America, now home to the new Emigration Museum which presents the fate of Polish emigrants. In Gdynia I also love the restaurant Serio (below right), offering excellent Italian cuisine in an industrial space with striking visual d ­ etails •


Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot


Polish Bauhaus

The youngest of the three cities, Gdynia was developed on the site of an old fishing village in the 1920 s and 1930s, and is characterised by modernist structures built in the Bauhaus spirit of those times (top and right). The city was built as a huge project by the reborn Polish state, which needed a port free of the German influences that then predominated in Gdańsk. Gdynia was erected in just over a decade as a modern port and industrial complex (OPPOSITE PAGE BOTTOM), and it continues to function as such to this day. Completed in 2009, the Sea Towers mixeduse skyscrapers overlook the Dar Pomorza museum ship (ABOVE). The city also hosts a number of excellent cultural festivals, including the Open’er Festival (OPPOSITE PAGE TOP), among the best in Europe, the Ladies’ Jazz Festival, and the Globaltica World Cultures Festival •

Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot



Tricity – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot


Resort with an attitude Second stop: Sopot. This landmark resort town, the best-known on this side of the Baltic, has retained its atmosphere of parks and villas. The longest pier in Europe (top), the marina, and white sandy beaches make Sopot a well-known tourist attraction. Sopot is also known for the carefree café life which thrives during the summer along the city’s main pedestrian zone, Bohaterów

Monte Cassino Street, popularly known as 'Monciak' (above). Escape from the crowds of holidaymakers down the side streets, full of Secession-style houses and spas surrounded by green areas. Sopot has cultural life too, including the Artloop festival held each September, which brings art into public spaces, including the city’s less obvious nooks •


Tricity – Transportation Hub Poland’s Baltic seaports are among the fastest growing diverse cargo handling facilities in the Baltic Sea basin and are a significant international transportation hub. In accordance with European Union’s strategy, the Gdańsk Port is an important link in the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 4 (Baltic – Adriatic Corridor).

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Gdańsk DCT is the largest and most modern container terminal in Poland. It boasts 650 m of quay length, with 13.50 m depth along 265 m and 16.50 m depth along 385 m of quay. Total area: 49 hectares •

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Longest Pier The Pope John Paul II Sopot Pier (right) is the longest pier on the Baltic Sea. Its function has changed throughout its history: from a local marina, to an element of a seaplane terminal, to a passenger bridge for large sea-liners, to today’s role as a promenade with a yacht marina at its end •

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Szczecin Floating garden. Water, greenery and open space are the three dominant features of ­Szczecin’s c­ ityscape. Even though it doesn’t lie directly on the Baltic coast (contrary to what many Poles think), the city is surrounded by w ­ ater.

Here and away î ? Solidarity Szczecin GoleniĂłw Airport â€“ 29 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 455 km Berlin â€“ 125 km Copenhagen â€“ 281 km Prague â€“ 370 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1243  î Žâ€† 408 k î Ľ 301 km2 î Š 4 177 PLN î € 45 k Culture & Nature

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Szczecin lies at the mouth of the Oder River which delineates a portion of Poland's western border and flows into the Szczecin Lagoon. Another river, the Regalica, flows through the city emptying into Dąbie Lake, which is wholly contained within the city limits. Other bodies of water include three lakes – Szmaragdowe (above), Słoneczne


and Głębokie – all within the Wkrzańska Forest. The city is ringed by three huge forest complexes: Wkrzańska, Bukowa and Goleniowska. The city centre is green, with 15 parks, including the largest, Park Kasprowicza, Ogród Różany (Rose Garden) and Jasne Błonia, with 213 plane trees growing along its avenues. Another of the city’s hallmarks are the magnolias which



Through the eyes of a native Maja Holcman-Lasota, photo session producer, stylist and interior decorator When I take guests around ­Szczecin, I like to greet them with views of the terrace at Wały Chrobrego, the Virgin Tower, and the Pomeranian Dukes Castle, but these are the obvious options – found in every guidebook. So I recommend seeing Szczecin from another angle. Take Nehringa Street to the top of the hill and take in the view of Dąbie Lake. Go for ice cream at Lody Marczak, eat at Public in the old “new” town. See Hasior’s “Birds”

sculpture in Park Kasprowicza (below) and stroll along the streets of the Pogodno neighbourhood. Sit in a basket chair on the embankment, watch a film at Pionier, the oldest cinema in Europe, or climb the cathedral tower and admire the panorama. If you get a chance, hop in a boat and see the cranes at the Gryfia shipyard from the waterline, and explore the rushes and inlets surrounding the city •


left: The oldest cinema in the world is in Szczecin – the Helios was founded in 1909 (now called the Pionier) •

above left: TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art is the youngest such institutions in Poland • LEFT: Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle at Szczecin’s Castle Hill. Inside the Renaissance castle’s tower, visitors can study a Foucault’s pendulum - a scientific demonstration of Earth’s rotation •


blossom each spring in the gardens and lawns. Szczecin‘s 19th century urban-planning axis was modelled on Paris, and its radial roundabouts and boulevards along the Oder are full of air and space. A splendid view extends from the riverside terrace known as Wały Chrobrego. It’s an ideal spot to admire the most beautiful sailing ships in the world (above and previous page top), which arrive in Szczecin every year for the Tall Ships’ Races •



On foot or two wheels Inga Iwasiów, writer – Szczecin is the setting and main character of her books, such as Bambino and Toward the Sun Szczecin is for walking or exploring on a bicycle. There’s no shortage of bike paths, and the city is encircled by forests, lakes, and the waters of the Szczecin Lagoon. It’s a city for active and reflective tourists, with numerous green nooks, with Park Kasprowicza being the favourite meeting spot. A good time to visit is spring, the Kontrapunkt Small Theatre Forms Festival is in April, the Szczecin Street Art Festival (above right)in May, or the Bonds of Culture Festival organized by the Kana Theatre Centre takes place in June.

Kana Theatre is located near Hołdu Pruskiego Square, the new centre of architecture, and a must see. The main new structure is the concert hall of the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (top), and its repertoire will please fans of all varieties of music. The Przełomy Dialogue Centre building is partially

below-ground, submerged in front of the Philharmonic. Rollerbladers have taken over the above-ground part, as they have the terrace steps at Wały Chrobrego – feel free to join in. Nearby is a branch of the National Museum, including Zachęta’s regional collection of contemporary art •



Relaxed big city feel Łona, rapper, music producer, University of Szczecin law graduate, works at a law firm Szczecin’s the Paris of the north, I’ve got no doubts about that. The city’s northern qualities can best be discovered by venturing into its northern neighbourhoods. These are beautiful, mysterious, somewhat neglected areas with a rough reputation. You need to maintain a certain degree of caution when visiting them. For travellers who aren’t keen to examine the locals’ more ‘colourful’ habits up close, I’d suggest viewing these districts aboard an excursion boat. Viewed from the Oder, northern Szczecin makes an even bigger impression. I suggest coffee at Stojaki (below), where you can get a good sense of Szczecin’s genius loci: on one hand there’s a big-city feel with Szczecin’s booming hipsterdom, but on the other hand,

there’s something of the sleepy little town, with natives curled up like cats on comfy cushions in the window sills of their flats. Check out the jam sessions at Piwnica Kany (above, about once a month, on a Friday) to hear great tunes and fraternize a bit with the rather unpretentious Szczecin bohemians, or just drink some good beer •




Island of Vikings Wolin Island was once a busy trading centre, it was pulsing with life! We try to recreate that atmosphere. Tourists visiting us learn about life as it was lived here a thousand years ago. You can observe the everyday work of blacksmiths, potters and weavers, listen to music, watch duels and historical boats, and try food from those times. Every year we choose a new

Wojciech Celiński, head of the Wolin-Jomsborg-Vineta Centre of Slavs and Vikings, organiser of the Festival of Slavs and Vikings (opposite page), the largest event of its kind in Poland, with more than 2,000 historical reenactors taking part last year

theme for the event, such as ‘Beautiful and Valiant’ about the women of the era – who lived differently than we might expect. We focused on the fascinating figure of Świętosława – Sigrid the Haughty – daughter of Poland’s first king Mieszko I, and the queen of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and, for a time, even England •

left: Iron axe head (10th or 11th century) recovered from the Dziwna Strait

Slavs and Vikings Centre "Wolin-Jomsborg-Vineta" – Legend 6 Vertical-post log construction mouse 7 Craftsman shed 8 Temple 9 Wooden stockade with embankment and wooden platform (305 m)

1 Stromal house 2 Interlacing house 3 Stockade house 4 In between pillar centered four-slope house 5 In between pillar centered two-slope house

10 Wooden tower with a gate 11 142 m long wooden wharf 12 Wooden tower with gate above bridge abutment 13 Wood log paths


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PoznaĹ„ The centre of common sense The residents of PoznaĹ„, the cradle of the Polish state, are regarded as the embodiment of business sense and a model of bourgeois stability. But these bourgeois, commercial traditions rub up against the city’s counterculture and initiatives by urban activists, generating a continual creative ferment. The home of Poland’s oldest trade fair and host to international companies also offers cultural festivals, musical traditions and alternative theatre.

Here and away î ? PoznaĹ„ Airport â€“ 7 km îĄ? Warsaw â€“ 280 km Berlin â€“ 240 km Prague â€“ 310 km Vienna â€“ 470 km Overview đ&#x;›Ą 1253  î Žâ€† 548 k î Ľâ€† 262 km2 î Š 4 354 PLN î € 121 k Culture & Nature

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‘A foolish device’ – each day at noon billy goats butt heads atop PoznaĹ„'s Town Hall tower •



above: Porta Posnania ICHOT (Interactive Cathedral Island Heritage Centre) presents the history of Poznań’s Cathedral Island (Ostrów Tumski).

At high noon, to the sounds of a bugle call, a pair of mechanical goats emerge from the tower on the 16th century City Hall on the Old Market Square and butt heads. This daily display is Poznań’s signature tourist attraction. The Renaissance tower symbolically balances the metal spire over the site of the Poznań International Trade Fair, located next to the city centre. One

of the oldest and largest trade fairs in Europe, in operation since 1921, it embodies Poznań’s entrepreneurial spirit. After Warsaw, Poznań is the second-richest city in Poland and is home to numerous domestic and international companies. Just outside Poznań is the Solaris factory, founded by Krzysztof and Solange Olszewski, exporting state-of-the-art urban buses, and the



headquarters of the jewellery firm Yes, a brand recognized around the world. The marriage of money and culture is nothing new in Poznań. One of the latest icons of the capital of Wielkopolska province is the Stary Browar shopping, arts and business centre, built by Grażyna Kulczyk, Poland’s best-known businesswoman and collector of contemporary art. Music and dance play a major role in the cultural life of Poznań. The awardwinning Polish Dance Theatre has made its home in Poznań for many years, and the city is also the birthplace of the famous

Poznań Boys’ Choir (formerly known as the Polish Nightingales). The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music is the only institution in Poland training world-class luthiers – violin makers – at the university level. Festival life is booming, for example with the International H. Wieniawski Violin Competition and Malta – a multi-genre theatre festival held for the last 20 years at various sites in the city, including a sports park on Lake Malta. This is one of several bodies of water in Poznań, which lies on the Warta River, in the centre of the Wielkopolska Lake Region.


Poznań left: Spectators fill Plac Wolności (Freedom Square) during a Malta Festival Poznań event. Malta is one of the most significant arts festivals in Central and Eastern Europe, with an extensive international theatre, music, dance and film programme. Launched in 1991, the festival takes place in late June/early July. Its name is derived from Poznań’s Lake Malta • below: Taczaka Street • bottom: Poznań Town Hall •

Poznań is home to Poland’s oldest squat, Rozbrat, and it was here that one of the earliest urban movements in Poland was founded, My-Poznaniacy (‘Us Poznanians’). For the past decade, Taczaka Street in the Old Town has served as the centre of new urban life, full of unique artistic cafés, clubs and boutiques •


Unique places that you must see


Inside, admire the sculptures by Igor Mitoraj. Cytadela is a sculpture park around a historic fort, including the installation The Unrecognized by world-famous Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz (left). Poznań’s major north-south street is Marcinkowskiego Avenue, passing by the National Museum and the sculpture of Piotr Voelkel – entrepreneur, a Golem by the Czech artist David founder of the Vox furniture Černý. Plac Wolności (Freedom group and the School of Form, Square) has earned its own nickwhich teaches design using the name in Poznań slang: ‘Plajta’. unique method of ­global design It is the centrepiece for the Transguru Li Edelkoort atlantyk and Malta festivals. A historic printing plant is There is nowhere else like Stary Browar (the Old Brewery, above), home to Concordia Design, a design centre with conference winner of the 2005 International facilities, an excellent restaurant, Council of Shopping Centers award for best new shopping cen- and a children’s creativity festival. Founded at the initiative of tre in the world. This impressive Piotr Voelkel, it is managed by his blend of a 19th century brewery daughter Ewa Voelkel-Krokowicz. with contemporary architecThe legendary alternative ture includes a shopping mall, theatre space Teatr Ósmego Dnia a contemporary art gallery, and was founded by Lech Raczak and a modern dance centre. The Art later run by Ewa Wójciak. & Fashion Festival is held here.

Zamek Cultural Center, run by Anna Hryniewiecka, draws visitors interested in art, including its highly experimental strains. It includes a superb gallery of photography. The building was erected in the early 20th century as a castle for the last German emperor, Wilhelm II, and during World War II it was remodelled to serve as a residence for Hitler •



Śródka and Ostrów Tumski Poznań residents boast of their distinctness and sense of local pride. This is understandable - some historians believe that the Polish state got its start around AD 966 on Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island). The city's Gothic cathedral stands there to this day. Śródka, a district on the Warta River, is like a small settlement cut off from the rest of the city by water. Long neglected, it was revived thanks to a couple of restaurateurs and urban activists, Jan and Monika Pawlak, owners of Cafe La Ruina (right) and the restaurant Raj. They not only serve Asian-influenced food but also enliven the location with a 22seat mini-cinema which also

hosts concerts and meetings. Drop by this district when visiting the nearby Ostrów Tumski, home of Poland’s oldest Gothic cathedral. Also nearby

you will find Porta Posnania ICHOT. This award-winningThis award-winning minimalist concrete structure is home to the Interactive Centre for the History of Ostrów Tumski (ICHOT), where visitors can learn the secrets of the history of Poznan’s Cathedral Island.

Greenhouse of ideas in a former printing plant Radek Berent: ‘In Jeżyce there’s an exceptional location for small businesses like ours (Kwiaty i Miut has its workshop there), namely PZG, the former Poznań Graphics Plant, at 39 Wawrzyniaka Street. It is home to more than a dozen young firms, from a tailor’s workshop to studios for pole dancing, graphics, ceramics and photography, ‘Concrete Wojtek’ ,who makes concrete slabs to order, and an old engraver’s workshop where time stands still. It’s a place with a friendly atmosphere and functions like a greenhouse for ideas. The do-it-yourself space Fab Lab Zakład is a workshop where anyone can come and make something for themselves using onsite tools for carpentry, metalworking, tailoring, and so on’ •



The recipe for a good day Radek Berent and Łukasz Marcinkowski – this duo of a photographer / graphic artist and a gardener / furniture designer run the original flower shop and concept store Kwiaty i Miut. They love to eat out in Poznań! We recommend the Jeżyce district where we live and work. We can spend the whole day here because everything you need to live is here. For a tasty cooked breakfast we suggest Yeżyce Kuchnia (top right), run by Julia Klorek and Marcin Czubala. The vibe is minimalist, with a common table and a short menu, entirely slow food and local. The place for coffee is Brisman Coffee Bar, where the bean yields up its mysteries to Agnieszka Rojewska and Mateusz Gaca, showmen and selfstyled ‘coffee anarchists’ . For dinner, the nearby Modra Kuchnia (right) features

contemporary Polish cooking. For those who do not eat meat, we suggest Wypas, run by true activists who cook vegan and sell homemade soy products, tempeh and tofu. For top-quality fast food there is Kraszkebab on Kraszewskiego Street, with excellent kebabs and an incredible variety of sauces – including one made from baked bananas. Of course we do visit other districts as well. In Łazarz we visit the daily flea market on Rynek Łazarski, where we seek out containers for our flowers. In the Wilda district we visit the bakery called Pracownia GODny to buy exceptional bread in three varieties: Godny, Luj and Czesław. The owners are bread fanatics who developed their recipes over several years. They organize various educational cooking events. We generally avoid the Old Town, except to stop by the bistro Taczaka 20 or the

confectioners called Piece of Cake, which has a brilliant cheesecake. We head to Grunwald with our own chairs or blankets for the outdoor summer films shown at Marcin and Dorota Kubiak’s wine bar Pod Czarnym Kotem •



Resistance Rhythms and Food Not Bombs. Something is always happening here: concerts, debates, meetings with social activists. Rozbrat is in Jeżyce, one of the few old districts in Poznań not bled dry by shopping centres. The Amarant Culture Centre also operates in Jeżyce, in the former Tram Workers’ Home. Once a prominent place for Poznań’s proletariat, today it is a home for alternative culture. For me, the symbol of this free and countercultural Poznań is Ewa Wójciak, the rebellious longtime head of the ‘Theatre of the Eighth Day’ ,Teatr Ósmego Dnia. Poznań is the Polish ice cream capital! Poland's taste for artisanal Apart from Cracow, Poznań was ice cream began at a shop on the only Polish city that did not experience a huge population ex- Kościelna Street. Originally it was just one little window, and change after 1945. The extremes visible in the city run from an over- the queues blocked the street. Poznań residents generally love Kacper Pobłocki – sociologist at all conservative outlook to Rozsweet snacks like cheesecake Adam Mickiewicz University, ur- brat, the oldest squat in Poland ban activist, cofounder of the My- Poland and a centre of alternative and ice cream. The traditional St. Martin’s Day croissants (a puff culture. It is the headquarters for Poznaniacy association and the pastry with a poppy seed filling) Congress of Urban Movements. the Poznań chapter of the Anarare made on November 11 • chist Federation and groups like

A place where extremes meet



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Poznań International Fair The Poznań International Fair was founded in 1921 and is one of the longest-running fair organizers in Europe. It now occupies 110,000 m2 of exhibition hall space and 35,000 m2 of outdoor exhibition space. Pavilion 1 – Industrial hall bu 1947–1948 ar Stanisław Kirkin and Lucjan Ballenstaedt wy 32 m width of central nave 10 m width of side naves A sidetrack from Poznań’s main railway station for delivery of large exhibition items. Pavilion 2 – Heavy industry hall bu 1928 ar R oger Sławski Rebuilt by Stanisław Kirkin and Lucjan Ballenstaedt, 1947 Pavilion 3A – Entertainment hall (left) bu 1929 ar Roger Sławski, wy 35 m tower Remains of the english pavilion built for the Universal National Exhibition in 1929 Pavilion 4 – Hall bu 1954–1955 ar Bolesław Szmidt

Pavilion 5 wy L argest covered structure, 216 m long with 14,500 m2 of space. Pavilion 6A bu 2010 ar ADS studio (Piotr Barełkowski) Pavilions 7, 7A, 8, 8A – ‘four-pack’ bu 1958–1977 Pavilion 9 – Italian Hall bu 1971–1972 ar Zygmunt Skupniewicz Pavilion 10 – Ministry of transport pavilion bu 1949 ar Bolesław Szmidt Pavilion 11 – Spire bu 1955 ar Bolesław Szmidt Pavilion 12 – Fair palace (metal industry pavilion) bu 1925, 1947

Pavilion 14 bu 1978 ar Zygmunt Lutomski Pavilion 15 bu 1994 ar Wojciech Tkaczyk Pavilion 100 – Fair Centre bu 1971–1972 ar Henryk Jarosz Pavilion 101 – Administration Building bu 1925 ar Stefan Cybichowski Pavilion 102/103 – Wood ­industry trade centre pavilion bu 1951 ar Jan Wellenger No Longer Existing Usa Pavilion bu 1957 ar Buckminster Fuller


WrocĹ‚aw Lower Silesia & Karpacz City of encounters There’s always something happening here! The city captivates visitors with its boundless, youthful energy, but its official history dates back over a thousand years, to the Roman Empire, when a settlement at this site was a major transit centre on the Amber Road. The number of landmarks here, from Gothic churches to gems of modernism, headed by the UNESCO – listed Centennial Hall, can seem overwhelming.

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Food & Stay

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167 A group of kayakers at a lock next to University of Wrocław's main building which features the longest Baroque façade in the world.



But it’s worth coming to Wrocław not just for the tourist sites, because the city’s calendar is bursting with festivals and other cultural events year-round, devoted to classical music (Wratislavia Cantans), ambitious film (T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival), crime fiction (International Crime Festival), theatre of disappearing cultures (Brave Festival), and even the annual attempt to beat the Guinness record for group guitar-playing (thousands and thousands of people play ‘Hey Joe’ together at the Thanks Jimi Festival). It’s not surprising that such an open city, where Czech, German, Jewish and Polish influences have mingled for centuries, was named the 2016 European Capital of ­Culture. What’s also special about Wrocław is that it carries within it the core of another city altogether: the former Polish city of Lwów. After World War II, when it became Lviv, Ukraine, its intellectual elite, such as mathematicians, writers, broadcasters and lawyers, moved west to Wrocław. Some say they brought the genius loci of Lwów with them to the capital of Lower Silesia, which accounts for Wrocław the multicultural spirit of down to the present day • left: The tallest Gothic tower in Poland and one of the tallest in Europe adorns St. Elizabeth’s Church •

top: Centennial Hall, designed by Max Berg, is one of the crowning achievements of 20th century architecture. Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2006 as a pioneering work of engineering and architecture •

above: Wrocław’s Municipal Stadium was built as an arena for the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the semi-transparent facade made of teflon-coated glassfibre mesh. It has a seating capacity of 45,105 •



No distance Łukasz Rusznica, photographer, curator of photography exhibitions, director of Miejsce gallery An excellent but atypical place to visit in Wrocław is the Tajne Komplety bookstore. It is a REAL bookstore that sells good books and is run by fun, open-minded people who know their stuff. A great place to linger over cakes and coffee. The underrated Nadodrze neighbourhood is, in my view, the most interesting part of town. Until recently there wasn’t much here to attract visitors, but now there are new cafés and bars springing up at every step, mingling in with local everyday life. You will still find shoemakers and other traditional craftsmen (RIGHT) among the small boutiques. Of the many interesting spots to unwind and have a good time I recommend UR, which has a great vibe and hosts occasional cultural events, a club called Das Lokal, and the pleasant eatery Karawan Bar. A must visit is TIFF (above), usually held in September. The name is an abbreviation for ‘A Slightly Different Photography Festival’ .It’s an incredibly friendly

atmosphere, breaking down the distance between artist and audience. The festival is held at various spots around town, and its publications are brilliant! •



The spirit of the city Michał Zygmunt, writer

All it takes for a young person from here to appreciate Wrocław’s German flavour is a quick visit to Berlin. The surroundings are strikingly familiar: the façades of the old buildings, the architecture of the pre-war train stations, the distribution of parks, and even the same shape of the paving stones. The Sępolno housing estate (bottom right) is located in the middle of the Big Island which takes up the eastern portion of Wrocław’s city centre. (Wrocław itself is spread out over 20 different islands.) The layout of Sępolno is modelled on the German eagle, but because Poland’s symbol is also an eagle, it’s just as easy to think of it as a Polish accent in a postGerman city. Sępolno was built as a low-cost garden city for workers but is now an expensive district for the elite. Right next door is the beautiful Zacisze, like Berlin’s Zehlendorf – a district of monumental villas inhabited

Bourgeois rebels Piotr Czerkawski, film critic

by the bourgeoisie. The model estate WuWa is unaccountably ignored by most tourists and appreciated only by architecture students, who make pilgrimages here from all over the world. It may be the most excellent remnant of the German architectural heritage in Wrocław, along with the department stores in the city centre: Renoma, Feniks and Kameleon (above right). Another model modernist estate, Popowice, is still amazing in photographs, even though it no longer exists, having been rebuilt with shoddy blocks during the Communist era. The German heritage in Wrocław managed to endure in various surprising forms. It’s as if the spirit of the city remained the same regardless of the origin of its inhabitants •

Wrocław is like a kid from a nice family who has just entered the rebellious stage. It wants to be subversive but, in reality, it remains its stable,

bourgeois self. This has its limitations, as on weeknights all the decent clubs close by 2 am. But they make up for it at eekends. The city still lacks a little something to achieve the status of a contemporary metropolis, but residents and visitors have a huge array of artistic events to choose from. For good reason, Wrocław has been named the 2016 European Capital of Culture. Thanks to the New Horizons festival in July (left), it has become the best city in Poland to see films. The event lasts just 9 days, but there’s also an art house multiplex operating year-round that is unequalled anywhere in Europe •


The brutalist-style housing and retail complex near Grunwaldzki Square (commonly known as either the ‘toilet seat buildings - sedesowce - or Wrocław’s Manhattan)


was designed by Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak between 1967-1970. The housing estate has been added to the Lower Silesia Province heritage list •


Lower Silesia

Castles and wine


A region rich in landmarks, is not just picturesque, with its 760 castles and palaces could give the Loire Valley a run for its money. A fourth of Poland’s castles and palaces are found in Lower Silesia. Sites like Książ (below), Czocha (left), Chojnik, Bolków, Kamieniec Ząbkowicki and Grodziec attract visitors not only for their old architecture and the knightly customs they maintain. Europe’s largest Goth music festival, Castle Party, has been held at Bolków Castle for the past 10 years. Czocha draws Harry Potter fans for LARP sessions (live action role-playing), where the Polish castle is a stand-in for the celebrated Hogwarts magic school. Lower Silesia is also noted for its reviving wine-making traditions. Vineyards near Świdnica and Zielona Góra (in the neighbouring Lubuskie province) are a frequent stop on the wine tourism itinerary •



Magic mountain Karpacz

The town of Karpacz, at the foot of Mount Śnieżka, the highest peak in the Sudetes Mountains, is a charming spa town featuring 19th century pensions, and a major winter sports centre with well-developed modern facilities. The location offers a wide array of attractions, from mountain hiking to a summer luge track. The most original feature in Karpacz is the medieval wooden ‘Viking temple’ . The Vang stave church (right) was built in Norway in the 12th century, but in 1842 it was taken apart (made easier because no nails were used in the construction) and shipped via Szczecin to Berlin (where it was originally supposed to stand on Peacock Island). Eventually it ended up in the Karkonosze Mountains. Since 1844, it has served the local Lutheran parish, and is the oldest wooden house of worship in Poland. The Toy Museum features a collection of toys and dolls from all over the world-over 2,000 items-based on the private collection of Henryk Tomaszewski, founder of the Wrocław Pantomime Theatre.

A final must-see is the peak of Mount Śnieżka, topped by a meteorological observatory shaped like three flying saucers (above), with exhibitions of weather instruments and photographs. A panorama of the Karkonosze Mountains stretches out from the observation deck. Under good weather conditions you can see as far as 200 km away •



Left: Tumski Bridge • top: Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), while no longer an island is still the oldest part of Wrocław • above: Grunwald Bridge •


Rędzin Bridge on the Wrocław Motorway Ring Road bu 2011 arJan Biliszczuk wy122 m wy612 m

Grunwald Bridge bu 1910 arRichard Plüddemann Alfred von Scholtz wy20 m wy112.5m

Zoo Bridge: bu 1897 arRichard Plüddemann, Karl Klimm wy62 m

Tumski Bridge bu 1889 arAlfred von Scholtz wy6.90 m wy52.19m

Sand Bridge bu 1861 (a wooden bridge has stood at this location since the 12th century) ar Ernst Uber wy31.74m wy12.02m

The city of a hundred bridges Wrocław has the most bridges of all cities in Poland, and ranks fourth in Europe behind only Amsterdam, Venice, and Saint Petersburg. Prior

to World War II, there were 303 bridges and footbridges within today’s city limits, up to date calculations (based on somewhat different

criteria) count 117 (including 27 footbridges). The largest and most important bridges cross the main and secondary branches of the Oder River •


Enterprising Poland From coal to Beacon Valley Coal and textiles: if that’s what you ­associate with the Polish economy, it’s time to think again. Today’s Polish entrepreneurship is a phenomenon that enabled the country to maintain economic growth through the global economic crisis. And that growth continues. ­According to the International Monetary Fund, Poland’s gross domestic product will exceed that of Sweden and Switzerland 2020, and the country will become the world’s 22nd largest economy. To understand how big a success that is, remember that a modern economy only began to be built in Poland in 1989. Only after that were Polish firms established on a broad scale. Today SMEs employ three-fourths of Polish workers and generate 67 % of GDP. Thanks to its entrepreneurs, Poland has succeeded in entering entirely new fields. On the basis of the chemical industry, a modern cosmetics sector has developed. Traditional textiles have transformed into a movement of hundreds of small brands, designer workshops offering clothing which competes with huge global chains

that use cheap labour in Asia. Agriculture, traditionally a Polish strength, has enjoyed a resurgence, not only in mass-scale production but also organic farming. The shipyard industry has found a business strategy and a role for itself after years of problems. But first and foremost, it is the Polish IT sector that has begun to grow at a dizzying pace. Growth in education has led to a boom in start-ups, giving Poland a strong position in fields like computer games and the Internet of Things •

Business, science, innovation


The Witcher: One who rules them The Witcher (below), a monster hunter with special powers, is the symbol of a new Polish specialty: computer games. The three titles in the Witcher series are based on Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy novels which enjoy Tolkien-level fame among Polish readers. The games catapulted Geralt of Rivia to worldwide fame and built the success of Warsaw-based game developer

CD Projekt. The first two parts sold a total of 8 million copies, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold a record 4 million copies within the first month after release. There are at least five Polish game development studios that earn tens of millions of dollars a year. Plus there are hundreds of smaller firms, at least several dozen of which have succeeded

with game apps for mobile devices. One recent hit is ‘This War of Mine’ by 11 bit studios. Scooping up lots of awards, this unusual title allows players to experience war from the perspective of the civilian population rather than the soldiers fighting at the front. The production costs were recouped within 48 hours after the game debuted •


Business, science, innovation



Business, science, innovation Lotos Oil refinery in GdańskRudniki, located near the Martwa Vistula river. Lotos is the largest company in Pomerania, and the secondlargest refinery in Poland after the Orlen facility in Płock •

Solaris conquers Europe The history of Solaris, which took its name from the sciencefiction novel by Stanisław Lem, would make a fascinating novel itself except that none of it is fiction. In the 1990s, Krzysztof and Solange Olszewski practically built their firm from scratch. Today it is one of the five largest manufacturers of municipal buses in Europe, used by over 600 cities in 30 countries. The buses for one of its French customers have toilets for women drivers, those for the Alpine city of Winterthur have tinted windows because sunlight is so intense that high in the mountains, and the buses for Dubai have sand filters and separate compartments for men and women. 2014 was a record year for Solaris, it sold 1,380 buses and trolleybuses, 80 % of them for export •


Shipyards: from a symbol to a business

Business, science, innovation

The cranes at the Gdańsk Shipyard are a symbol of the battle against Communism. It was there that Solidarity was born – the first independent trade union in the Communist bloc. Paradoxically, when the system changed from Communism to a free market, the shipyards themselves were a victim of the change. They lost big orders from the Soviet Union, and excess employment, low productivity and disorganization brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. But because of people’s determination, the situation

today looks entirely different. The shipyard industry in Poland has reorganized along the lines followed elsewhere in Europe. Now employment at the shipyards has grown to 32,000. Production and sales are increasing, and the companies have contracts in place for years in advance. Following the European model, they no longer produce big, simple units, but small, more expensive, specialized ships. Today the industry is a symbol of the success of Poland’s economic transfor­mation • A window on the world It isn’t just a slogan. Polish window manufacturers – Drutex and Fakro – have come to dominate the European market. Both firms sell their products in Poland and abroad and are known for high quality, competitive prices, and increasingly innovative design concepts •


Business, science, innovation Oceanic: Relief from allergies Wojciech and Dorota Soszyński It started with Ignacy Soszyński. Before World War II he was the owner of a factory making creams, but unfortunately not for long, because the plant was launched in 1939, just before the war broke out. The next plant was founded after the war, but that was nationalized by the Communists. Then he emigrated and ran his own cosmetics business in France and Morocco. In the early 1980s he returned to Poland, and with his son Wojciech founded a firm producing and distributing cosmetics. In 1982, young Wojciech founded his own firm, Oceanic, which became the leader of the Polish market of hypoallergenic cosmetics. Today it sells in 29 countries on four continents. He runs the company with his wife, Dorota Soszyńska, who has worked at Oceanic without a break for 33 years •

Global IT

Polish high tech is also about huge corporations with successful operations around the world. Adam Góral and Janusz Filipiak (above) stand behind

the global successes of their respective companies, Asseco and Comarch. Both firms are among the 100 biggest European software producers. According to the Truffle 100 ranking, Asseco is number 6, generating revenue of over a billion euro a year. Asseco is now looking to grow beyond the European market, particularly in Asia and

Africa. About 70 % of its contracts are abroad, for example launching a billing system in Ethiopia or investments in Kazakhstan. Cracow-based Comarch recently advanced three spots to 45th. Its customers include the global spirits group Diageo, owner of such brands as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan •


Business, science, innovation


Beacon Valley The science fiction future is already here in Poland – all thanks to beacons. They are tiny computers equipped with heat and motion sensors and Bluetooth, enabling them to identify persons with a smartphone or tablet within a radius of several dozen metres. Adam Jesionkiewicz and Michał Polak (above), the founders of Ifinity, believe this revolutionary solution will bring the concept of the Internet of Things to city streets. They convinced Warsaw to try a pilot project introducing beacons for navigation at the city’s

centre for handicapped people so that the blind could freely move about the space without anyone’s help. It worked. Warsaw entered the Mayors Challenge 2014, a competition organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies for the most innovative urban ideas in Europe. And it won one of the five prizes. The prize of a million dollars was used for further construction of the microlocation system. The plans are to launch several thousand such points in ­Warsaw •

Business, science, innovation


3D Poland Two years ago a group of young IT specialists from near the Mazurian city of Olsztyn built a 3D printer. Even though there were already plenty of such devices around the world, their device was designed to finally conquer one of the most serious stumbling blocks to the spread of the technology: price. The Polish start-up’s printer was going to offer high quality at a price affordable even for a small architectural practice. They raised money for their product on the crowdfunding platform Kick-

conceptual stage. But quite a few of them do become serious interThere’s hardly a big city in Poland national businesses. Brand 24, offering brand monitoring on social that doesn’t have several busimedia, is succeeding on numerness accelerators or incubators ous markets, from Thailand to the up and running, and business United States. The voice generaangels and funds investing in start-ups. By the nature of things, tor Ivona was acquired by Amamany start-ups wind down practi- zon to develop its voice analysis technology. Another Polish startcally before they start up, never taking their business beyond the up, Filmaster.tv, which analyzes Start-up Poland

starter, and their Zortax printer (left) proved so good that the computer giant Dell ordered 5,000 of them. Other Polish firms have followed Zortax’s lead by developing their own increasingly refined 3D printers for both professionals and semi-amateurs. As a result, Polish producers account for 10 % of the global 3D printer market today •

viewers’ tastes and recommends films to them, was swallowed up by the creators of BitTorrent for a million dollars. And in a strong mutually supportive start-up culture, entrepreneurs help and learn from each other. That is how the Geek Girls Carrots (above) network operates, uniting, teaching and inspiring women who love high tech •


Business, science, innovation


Tracksuits, tulle and moustache For years the moustache symbolized a certain traditional, provincial and frumpy Poland. But 8 years ago ‘Mustache’ became the hallmark of new, independent, contemporary fashion created by hundreds of Polish designers. ‘Mustache’ is a huge fashion trade fair organized by Patrick Deba and Konrad Ozdowy, attracting some 400 exhibitors. But it is also an online platform, shop, clearinghouse and knowledge base for the finest young talent in fashion and design.

And that’s not the whole market. The HUSH platform operates along similar lines, bringing together a big group of designers to present original fashion. On top of this are the Pretty Things Fair and Wzory, focal points for independent designers of decorative art, furniture and interiors. Together these initiatives have brought stylish bazaars to Polish cities x


Business, science, innovation

Illustrations that speak The Mizielińskis. If you haven’t heard their name yet, you will soon. Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, a married couple and graphic artist duo, are a true phenomenon. In the course of a few years they became the authors of children’s books known all over the world, illustrated in a characteristic manner that speaks to audiences everywhere. Their biggest hit is Maps, a fascinating journey through 42 countries on all continents. It has been published in 20 languages in 28 countries and won the Prix Sorcières 2013 and Premio Andersen 2013, among other prizes. When the New York Times named it to a list of the six most interesting and best-illustrated books for children in 2013, it sold out immediately on Amazon •

The new shape of traditional crafts The faience and porcelain plant in Ćmielów was founded 225 years ago. That’s a big slice of design history. The blue and white style inspired by Polish folklore reigned supreme there for years. But recently new projects have been launched, Qubus, Cosmopolitan and New Atelier, alluding to classic modern designs from the 1950 s and 1960s but in a much more contemporary form •

LATO – a font developed by Łukasz Dziedzic which accidentally conquered the world! Dziedzic was once hired by a big bank to develop a bespoke typeface, but the client cancelled the order before the deal could close. So the Polish designer uploaded his font to the Internet as

freeware. The effect? According to Google statistics, Lato is the third-most often downloaded font on the planet. Which goes to show that global success can be won without even trying! •


Business, science, innovation

Design it yourself

the designer and adjust the design to the user’s preferences and the user’s own living space. Tylko.com debuted at designjuction2015, the main exhibition at the London Design Festival, where it was named one of the top 10 most innovative projects and won USD 1.6 million in financing from eight foreign investors •

A group of young Polish designers, architects and entrepreneurs from Tylko.com offer an application enabling users to design their own furniture – or at least tailor it to their individual needs. The app uses expanded reality technology to allow the customer to collaborate with

Business, science, innovation


Furniture made in Poland Polish furniture design has a long and respected history. It continues today with successes by a younger generation of designers. Przemysław ‘Mac’ Stopa is a visionary designer inspired by colour, geometry and 3D. He is the founder of the Warsaw studio Massive Design and the winner of a record number of prestigious Red Dot Product Design Awards, the ‘design Oscars’ . In 2015 he won three Red Dot awards, for the Pelikan chair, the Breaking Form collection of modular floor coverings, and the Hybrid Collection, decorations created by combining various materials on a glass surface. Agata Kulik-Pomorska and Paweł Pomorski founded the studio Malafor, where they create furniture referencing the concepts of recycling, ecology, and repurposing of commonly available materials and objects. In

2012 they received a Red Dot for their Blow sofa design from inflated recycled paper bags. Oskar Zięta is also known for inflated furniture. He created an advanced technology for ‘pumping’ furniture out of metal sheets. His furniture is displayed at locations like the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Wired magazine called Zięta’s designs ‘the furniture of the future’ , and indeed in the future they could even appear on Mars. Seriously. The first design has already been drawn up for a base station on another planet, with a skeleton made from Zięta’s deformed profiles •

Armchair created by the Polish designer Roman Modzelewski in 1958 from a polyester, from the formal perspective was a world-class example of a fully formed, homogeneous organic shell seat • FiDU An original technology developed by designer and architect Oskar Zięta used to manufacture lightweight and durable furniture and sheetmetal constructions. The Danish firm Hay has launched production of the Plopp stool (above) for which Zięta received a Red Dot, the most prestigious award in the design world. FiDU enables production of extremely durable elements from very thin sheets, and the material can also be freely shaped (rigth) •


Business, science, innovation

Science & innovation

In the Service of Science and Mankind Polish scientists’ innovative and sometimes revolutionary ideas have been recognized around the world for years. When you hear about conquering Mars, a life saved thanks to endoprosthetics, or a revolutionary face transplant operation – you are hearing about Poles. When you learn about graphene, one of the most sensational discoveries in recent years – that’s also news from Poland. And when the next flu epidemic strikes, you may manage to avoid suffering bone-weariness and congestion – thanks to the achievements of Polish scientists • Copernicium (Cn) – chemical element with an atomic number of 112 discovered in 1996, was named after the PolishGerman Astronomer •

A bit of history The Polish scientist Maria Skłodowska-Curie was the first person in history to receive the Nobel Prize in two different fields: chemistry and physics. Looking back over the past century, you can’t ignore Prof. Jan Czochralski, a famous inventor who gained the world’s attention as the creator of an innovative method for producing monocrystals. His surname might be a jawbreaker for people from many countries, but it’s a name to remember, because the silicon crystals in mobile phones, music players,

and even credit cards are still obtained today using Czochralski’s method. Although he mainly worked in Berlin, his scientific heritage, who are we to judge: Copernicus probably spoke mostly Latin, but the man who stopped the sun and moved the earth was a son of the Polish people. As a testament to his achievement’s longevity, 2013 was declared the Jan Czochralski Year in Poland and his scientific legacy continues to be used by us all 24 / 7. Another distinguished Polish researcher is Prof. Aleksander

Wolszczan. In the late 20th century, he discovered the first three planets outside of our solar system. Thanks to him, new faces have appeared in the sky in the 21st century as well, as two new planets have been discovered, and Wolszczan’s name is known around the world •


Business, science, innovation

Polish scientists change the world A New Lease on Life

Hear Poland and the world

Every time Connie Culp smiles, she’s also smiling in the direction of Dr Maria Siemionow. Thanks to this transplant specialist from Poznań, Connie regained her appearance and her will to live after being shot in the face by her husband in 2004. Culp’s facial transplant, performed by Siemionow in 2008, was the fourth such operation in the world, but the first which successfully restored an entire human face-a breakthrough in the history of world medicine. Dr Siemionow not only made a medical advance, she also conquered ethical barriers. The face transplant was not deemed to be a life-saving operation, but Siemionow fought for her patient’s right to receive the treatment. Her determination won over the bioethics commission. All in the service of science and humanity •

Thanks to Prof. Henryk Skarżyński from the World Hearing Center in Kajetany, dozens of people are hearing their loved ones’ voices, music, and the sounds of the world around them for the first time-some after living in silence for years. Cochlear MET is a new type of inner-ear implant. It’s not just highly effective; it has also revolutionized the market for me­dical procedures for senior citizens • Outsmarting the flu Dr Marta Łuksza (above), a Pole practising in the United States, developed a system capable of predicting what strain of the flu virus will be most widespread in the near future. The technology helps ramp up production of the right vaccines. Before, the effectiveness of flu shots largely depended on the (low)

accuracy of forecasts for which flu virus would attack. Thanks to Łuksza’s research, the effectiveness of the prediction algorithm now stands at 93 % • Research in every home! Zooniverse.org is a platform en­abling ordinary people to par­ticipate in scientific studies. With simple interfaces, users can help scientists classify various data. There are so many studies and so much information out there, scientists would have to invent a time machine to find time to keep track of it all by themselves! The Zooniverse platform was introduced to Polish Internet users by Prof. Lech Mankiewicz, a distinguished astronomer and physicist and director of the Cen­ter for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The engagement by Poles exceeded the researchers’ most ambitious


Business, science, innovation

expectations. More than 150,000 volunteers are now involved in the project, more than users from other countries • Conquering The Red Planet Sending people to Mars may well happen in the not too distant future. Poland will also deserve to plant its flag there. Polish students are involved in designing a vehicle for the manned mission to Mars and are achieving spectacular successes in this area. And Mars is a very Polish planet! At the beginning of 2015, students from AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow won the prestigious European Rover Challenge for robots to explore the planet’s surface. An American team came in second, but third was another team from Poland, representing Wrocław University of Technology, followed by students from Białystok. All five Polish teams participating in the challenge finished in the top ten-conquering the cosmos from here on earth • Sleep and Dream in ­Polyphases! If you don’t have time to sleep, don’t worry! Kamil Adamczyk, Janusz Frączek and Krzysztof Chojnowski certainly didn’t lose sleep thinking up their revolutionary polyphasic sleep project. It divides nightly rest (although not necessarily at night) into shorter, much more efficient fragments which then form sleep cycles. Basic sleep doesn’t take all night, but just a few hours. Rest is promoted by short, well-chosen naps. The NeuroOn sleep mask is linked to a smartphone app that processes the information and helps determine the right sleep cycle for each user. With this system you can spend less time sleeping and more time exploring Poland! •

It works! Graphene

Professor Why

An unusual structure of carbon atoms with vast potential in science. It’s an international project, but some of the atoms must come from Poland! •

A fantastic game for young scientists created by the Polish team at CTAdventure. While it might seem impossible to display chemistry experiments in virtual reality, this game for young chemists (and older ones too) proves that nothing is impossible in the computerized world! •

ItraPol and LutaPol Healthy competition (literally) for Joanna Jurek and her fantastic use of nanofibres. Substances invented at the National Centre for Nuclear Research will precisely target cancerous cells. This method is based on a classic use of radioactive isotopes innovatively combined with various active substances •

Perovskite Olga Malinkiewicz invented a method for layering perovskites-photovoltaic material on flat surfaces. The result is a revolution in the construction of solar cells •

Egzotech A Polish company headed by Michał Mikulski, inventor and designer of an exoskeleton for rehabilitation of the human arm (above). It’s a machine placed over the arm that analyzes the work of the muscles and helps improve muscle function, for example after an accident. A similar exoskeleton for the legs will be launched soon! •


Polish Mars rovers conquer the cosmos! Hyperion 1 ar Faculty of Mechanical Engineering students, BiaĹ‚ystok University of Technology đ&#x;?† 1st place - University Rover Challenge 2013 Details: • six-wheel construction featuring an innovative suspension: each wheel is independently driven • two on-board tools: grabber (used in the equipment servicing task) and a drill (used to collect soil samples)

• redundant vision system (3 cameras on board and two transmitters broadcasting on two frequencies) • GPS system used to navigate in a desert environment • designed to operate in desert, sandy and rocky terrain. Able to climb up to 60-degree slopes.

Magma 2 ar Faculty of Mechanical Engineering students, BiaĹ‚ystok University of Technology đ&#x;?† 1st place - University Rover Challenge 2011

Details: • two hexacopters used to observe the terrain - first use of flying object in a URC competition • articulated manipulator for collecting rock samples • a set of first-aid tool-boxes to assist wounded astronauts

Scorpion ar WrocĹ‚aw University of Technology students đ&#x;?† 1st place - European Rover Challenge 2014 3rd place - University Rover Challenge 2015

Details: • Cordura tyres (a highly durable and abrasion-resistant material) filled with polystyrene granules complementing the rigid mounted suspensions resulting in excellent off-road capabilities and shock absorption • modified rocker bogie suspension (as used in NASA rovers) • modular construction - the rover is highly adaptable, new modules/capabilities can be easily added


Culture Polish culture is fresh and available 24/7, 365 days a year. It fills atmospheric cafe-bookshops, cinemas and theatres, modern art galleries and buzzing nightclubs playing our music. Adjectives describing Poland’s cultural output certainly include ‘dynamic’ and ‘varied’ – everyone is bound to find something to their liking. In recent times, it has become a training area for new ways of talking about the world - both by young new artists as well as old hands. These experiments are finding acceptance from global audiences, as seen in the recent Oscar for Ida, Berlin film festival’s Silver Bear for Body/Ciało (opposite page top) and numerous exhibitions of Polish art put on by some of the world’s leading galleries and museums. Of course, there are also performances at the top theatre festivals, translations of Polish literature into foreign

languages and the brisk sales of Polish music abroad. Our culture is no longer content to stew in its own juice and has begun to use its local character to engage with universal themes. By choosing to fully experience what Polish culture has to offer, you’ll not only discover a new cultural context, but also look at your own world in a whole new way • oposite page top: Still from Miasto 44 (Warsaw ’44) directed by Jan Komasa oposite page bottom: Still from Katedra (The Cathedral), an Oscar-nominated (2003) short directed by Tomasz Bagiński



Cinema loves Poland




Variety review of The Red Spider (below) by Marcin Koszałka: ‘As puppetmaster, Koszałka demonstrates an elegant and confident touch, operating as much as possible in the ‘pure cinema’ tradition, where strong visual scenes are allowed to unfold without the crutch of explanatory dialogue or helpful audio clues, beyond a few snatches of radio broadcasts and a low, dread-building score’ •

Still from Papusza directed by Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze


There once was a land where there lived a Golden Oscar and a Silver Bear… Sound like the beginning of a fairy tale? It’s no accident. The situation in Polish cinema has changed in the last few years as if touched by a magic wand. It’s not just about the longoverdue recognition of classic Polish films, which Martin Scorsese admired so much he organized a worldwide tour of 21 films by directors like Wajda, Has, Kawalerowicz, Zanussi and Kieślowski. A new generation of talents has come of age. As the old grandmaster Andrzej Wajda puts it, ‘Polish film has recently taken the lead. It is not only finding a receptive Polish audience, but also finding a place in the world where it wins awards. It is pulling itself up after years of difficulty’. In February 2015, Małgorzata Szumowska won a Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival for Body. She says she made a film about Poland as a body-tired, unloved, neglected. She admits in interviews that, for her, ‘Polishness’ is not a cross to bear, and that she wants to continue to make films here. For her, Poland is the inspiration. Likewise for another director, one who lived for decades in the UK but achieved his greatest success with a modest black-andwhite film set in the times and country of his childhood. This obviously means Paweł

Agnieszka Holland, director ‘The international prizes our films are earning prove they are being made to increasingly high standards. It’s clear that in the past few years Polish cinema has been revived. It has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, and for this Ida is a beautiful crowning achievement. I hope this will give everyone else a jolt. It shows that it doesn’t pay to take the easy route. You have to aim high’ •


Pawlikowski (below), winner of the first Polish Oscar for best foreign film, Ida (below left). He calls Ida a ‘love letter to Poland’ , its mindset, music and art. The country also attracts young foreign filmmakers, the best example being Magnus von Horn from Sweden. He came to Łódź several years ago to study at the famed Polish National Film School and stayed. He shot his first film in Swedish, but most of the crew were Polish artists and professionals. The Here After premiered at the Cannes Festival – the world championships of film. Audiences in Poland love new Polish cinema. Polish films dominated last year’s box office figures, even beating the international mega-production of The Hobbit. Why? Directors have finally reached out to audiences, offering crime films, thrillers, dramas, comedies, and historical pictures, produced to a high standard and with passion. Viewers are also attracted to Polish cinemas because the cinemas themselves have evolved, offering a well-selected repertoire, discussions after the film and meetings with the creators, all of which create a sense of community. Even at Polish film festivals where the latest offerings from Cannes, Berlin or Venice are shown, tickets for Polish films sell the fastest •



Still from Bogowie (Gods) directed by Łukasz Palkowski

Marcin Wrona, feature film director. His third film, Demon (above), tells about the incredible goings-on at a ­wedding reception. Marcin Wrona died on 19 September 2015 during the Gdynia Film Festival. ‘Increasingly varied films are appearing in Poland, and our pictures are screened at the best festivals in the world: Berlin, Venice, Toronto… This is linked with a transparent system for subsidizing productions by the Polish Film Insti-

tute. This doesn’t mean that films are easier to shoot now than they were 10 years ago, when I was starting out. There’s more competition, but thanks to that, the level of Polish films is higher. To capture the attention of the viewer, you have to

offer an interesting screenplay that addresses some important issues, but in an appealing way. And while telling Polish stories, it needs to be universal and understandable for international audiences. This is the greatest challenge and art’ •


Cinema Documentary filmmakers have achieved great success, winning awards not only in Poland but also at festivals in Locarno, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The old masters like Marcel Łoziński and Jacek Bławut still make films, but they have also brought up the next generation of directors. One of the most talkedabout documentaries of recent years is the diptych directed by Marcel and Paweł Łoziński (right), Father and Son and Father and Son on a Journey. It records a joint excursion to Paris, but presented differently by the two directors. This raises questions about the methods employed by contemporary documentary filmmakers •

Małgorzata Kuzdra, director of the Muza cinema in Poznań. Are we to only see films in multiplexes wrapped in the smell of popcorn? Of course not, Kuzdra argues:

‘Art-house cinemas in Poland are cultural centres, combining tradition and modernity. Among independent cinemas operating in Poland, a third of them are art houses in the pure sense. There we create a carefully thought-out repertoire, presenting films that have won awards at the most important European film festivals, and prepare special events with added attractions. For example, during the Kino Dynamo event we installed four stationary bicycles below the screen which viewers used to generate the electricity needed for the projection. Most importantly, we are close to our viewers. We know them and maintain a dialogue with them. That’s why cinemas that are a perfect home for good films will always be needed’ •

Cinematic history hall of fame Wojciech Kilar is Poland’s most popular film music composer, having composed the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. The Silesian composer was very nearly asked to create the music to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings as well, and has composed film music for directors such as Jane

Campion, Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polański. Other Polish film composers whose work has also gone down in cinematic history include ­Krzysztof Komenda who created the soundtracks to Rosemary’s Baby and Knife in the Water, both directed by Roman Polański. Krzysztof Kieślowski’s films would also

never have been produced if it weren’t for Zbigniew Preisner’s compositions. Another Polish composer, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, was awarded an Oscar in 2003 for his music to Finding Neverland. The new hope for Polish film music is composer Stefan Wesołowski who created the music for a documentary about Marlon Brando •



Pop music

Rich and varied The best time to experience the richness and variety of the Polish pop-music scene is during the summer festivals which are, of course, very popular. This includes the posthippie Woodstock Festival Poland which breaks attendance records each year with its highly original music; the more mainstream Open’er Festival which can compete with Europe’s biggest musical events; Katowice’s alternative OFF Festival, and the dark electroavant garde Unsound Festival which takes place every autumn in picturesque Cracow. Even fans with more specific musical tastes will find something to suit them. Lovers of

techno music should head up to Białystok’s Up to Date festival; electro-dance (broadly defined) to Audiriver in Płock; industrial music lovers down to Wrocław’s Avant Art while reggae fans should head straight to Ostróda. Meanwhile, the roots of modern music can still be heard at Warsaw’s ‘All The World’s Mazurkas’ festival where traditional forms of music are performed by classical and jazz musicians and village music bands. Poland’s traditional music was a particular love of Chopin and has its roots in the three national Polish folk dances: the mazurka, the kujawiak and the oberek. The rich variety


of Polish festivals has even caught the eye of online pop-culture benchmarks such as ‘Pitchfork and ‘Wire’ which often run media coverage on events. The power of independence Independent record labels are also something of a phenomenon – from hiphop labels with their own loyal followers, to Poland’s ever-strong metal scene, as well as the electronic Lado ABC with its flagship band Mitch and Mitch (ABOVE), indie-rock Thin Man Records and urban-folk record label Karrot Kommando. There are also record


labels which delve into various underground micro-styles, producing music on cassette tapes and vinyl records such as Recognition Records, Pets Recordings, mik.musik.!., Instant Classic, Sangoplasmo Records, Requiem Records, BDTA and Transatlantyk. The sheer number of music producers ensure that Poland stays ahead of the game on the world music scene. We are also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to our various genres of metal: bands such as Behemoth, Decapitated and Vader are world leaders on the metal scene •



Known across the atlantic Pawęł Sęk has found success across the Atlantic having been nominated for a Grammy Award three times. As a music producer, he has already worked with names such as Taylor Swift, FUN., Jay-Z and Kanye West, as well as winning a contest for his remix of one of Beyonce’s song in collaboration with fellow music producer JIMEK. Another Polish artist, the Łódź-born vocalist, Iza Lach (right), has also worked with rap legend Snoop Dogg for many years •

Not just jazz Early in 2014 Włodek Pawlik became the first Polish jazz pianist to win a Grammy Award, capturing the award for the ‘Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album’ category for his ‘Night In Calisia’ .The album was recorded with Randy Brecker in Kalisz with the Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra. It didn’t really come as a surprise – rather it just confirmed the high reputation Polish jazz enjoys across the world: jazz players and fans worldwide can reel off the names of icons such as Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko (right), Michał Urbaniak and Krzysztof Komeda even in their sleep. Yet Polish jazz is continually evolving, particularly on the Warsaw scene which

is centered around the record labels For Tune and Lado ABC as well as the Pardon To Tu club. Musicians such as Marcin Masecki, Wojciech Mazolewski, Mikołaj Trzaska, Jerzy Rogiewicz, Wacław Zimpel, Ksawery Wójciński and Hubert Zemler are all introducing new elements such as ethnic, classical and minimalist music, as well as free improvasation, rock and techno. Trying to stay ahead of the game, Polish jazz is doing everything in its power to make sure it’s not only jazz •

Pop music


Add to your favourites The Dumplings In only six months this musical duo (top right) has transformed itself from a pair of shy high-school students into one of the most sought-after performers in Poland. ‘We started when we were fifteen. Our first concerts were at school, at Christmas or at the end of the school year events, and we had to get permission from our parents for our first concert tour. We’re both a bit weird really and this comes across in our music and in the lyrics. At first glance none of it seems to make sense, but there are loads of references to everyday life and literary illusions. For example, our song Słodko-słony cios is about the combination of rice cakes and Nutella’ • Dawid Podsiadło 22 year old Dawid Podsiadło is the wunderkind of Polish pop, having won the first edition of the ‘X-Factor’ programme. He now performs solo, under his own name, and as a member of the garage-rock band Curly Heads. His first album became a diamond disc best-seller. ‘I’m an incurable anglophile. I’m also a bit of a computer game geek – the titles of both my albums are closely related to the Final Fantasy games’.

The Phantom Hiding behind this pseudonym is Bartosz Kruczyński (below), one of Poland’s most interesting electronic music producers. ‘I love spending time in city parks and walking along the Vistula in Warsaw, and I love Polish music from the 60s, 70s and 80s. My project Ptaki (Birds) only contains compositions put together from samples of Polish music – original music making I leave for The Phantom. If I had to hashtag the work that I do, I think they’d be #Romanticism and #Orientalism. My last album was inspired by extreme natural phenomena like the huge hail-stones of the meteorite showers over Russia’ • Król Each year, early in the spring, Błażej Król releases a new album, recording dark electronic music under the names of KRÓL (previously a member of the duet UL / KR). Swiss punctuality meets Polish melancholy? ‘My music is trance-like and unpredictable. It has to sting the listener where they want to be tickled, and tickle them where they want to be hurt. To be honest, I record these albums for my wife so she can keep herself amused in the car’ •

Raphael Rogiński One of Poland’s most original guitarists, Rogiński (above) feels at home performing avant garde, jazz, folk music or plain old rock’n’roll. Yet it was Jewish klezmer music that initially sparked his interest: ‘I used to listen to Hasidic music so much I’d even hear it in my sleep. I eventually set up the group ‘Shofar’ with the distinguished Polish musicians Mikołaj Trzaska and Macio Moretti and we tried to recreate what I’d seen in my dreams. But not everyone liked our contemporary approach to traditional music. At Jewish music festivals people were expecting time-honoured, unaltered performances and many creative people are afraid to do anything new with Jewish culture. There’re afraid of breaking some sort of a taboo’ •



Visual Arts

The Power of Art

Street Art Polish art is stepping out of the gallery and occupying public spaces. Joanna Rajkowska’s popular installation in the centre of Warsaw known simply as the Palm – or ‘Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue’ to use its full title (above) – proves that artistic intervention can speak the language of the street. Initiatives like Paweł Althamer’s ‘Golden Airplane’, ,in which the celebrated Polish artist flew dozens of residents of his Warsaw hous-

ing estate to Brussels as part of his ‘A Common Task’ project, splendidly displayed how art can break down barriers that politics can’t manage to cross. Art has shown this power again and again through figures like Artur Żmijewski and Katarzyna Kozyra, whose critical art, as expressed in such works as Kozyra’s ‘Pyramid of Animals’, has drawn attention to problems that we now recognize as natural elements of public debate: issues of disabil-

ity, the treatment of animals, and tolerance of racial and sexual differences. As a form of ‘soft power’ ,Polish art illuminates and diversifies public discussions, while young artists increasingly display autonomous, radically individual artistic attitudes. A good example are the artists involved in Poznań’s Penerstwo group: Wojciech Bąkowski, Konrad Smoleński and Radek Szlaga, whose work is often shown abroad •



Polish art ignites! It tantalizes, upsets, stirs controversy … and changes the world. As curators of prestigious institutions around the world know, it pays to keep an eye on Polish art. Collectors know it, too. Museums, public galleries and private initiatives are all invol­ved in promoting the latest art in Poland. Each year 21 of Warsaw’s private galleries host Warsaw Gallery Weekend, with a new exhibit opening at each gallery, meetings,

lectures, and industry events. WGW promotes the latest Polish art by presenting the work of artists who are generally under 40. There are busy art institutions operating in cities far from the centre of the country as well, such as Tarnów, Zielona Góra, Bytom and Białystok. Their collections are built with the help of funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage •

Storming the ­International Stage When the artist Katarzyna Krakowiak (right) won an award at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012, she was the first Polish woman to be recognized at this prestigious event. Her award followed up the Golden Lions won at the Architecture Biennale four years earlier by Poles Kobas Laksa and Nicolas Grospierre. Polish artists operate in the international arena. Illustrator Agata ‘Endo’ No­wicka draws for the New Yorker magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Joanna Mytkowska, director of the Museum of Modern Art in

Warsaw, is one of the judges of the Turner Prize for the most ­interesting young British artists. Artur Żmi­jew­ski curated the Berlin Bien­nale in 2012, and the 2017 documenta festival in Kassel will be led by Adam Szymczyk,

who has headed Kunsthalle Basel for many years. Works by artists such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Piotr Uklański and Mirosław Bałka can be more often seen in London or New York rather than in Polish galleries •




Wojciech Bąkowski (above)

Agata ‘Endo’ Nowicka (above)

Joanna Mytkowska (top)

‘When I began my studies, I wanted to depict the poetry of the Poznań housing blocks, and particularly how my inner life is located between them’, says Wojciech Bąkowski, an artist who was moulded by Leszek Knaflewski’s Audiosfery studio. As a student, he played in the experimental groups Kot and Czikita. With friends from art school he founded the artistic group Penerstwo, focussed on recording internal emotional states and the seeming triviality of the everyday. He is also the creator of incredibly original ‘Spoken Films’ and has won many of Poland’s top artistic prizes. Bąkowski’s verse may be heard at solo concerts or on recordings by the now-defunct group Niwea •

In the 1990 s Endo made her first drawings using Microsoft’s Paint program, but now her works are among the most recognizable in print media, featured in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker. In 2013, she organized an exhibition of Polish illustration art with Maria Zaleska at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw entitled Painters of Illustrations. She currently works with the Wall Street Journal Magazine •

When she took the helm of the newly founded Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2006, she had completed years of practice as a curator and organizer at Galeria Foksal, the Galeria Foksal Foundation, and the Polonia pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale. Then she took on the future of Poland’s largest modern art institution. Mytkowska is one of many women currently leading the most important art institutions in the country (in Warsaw alone, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art is headed by Hanna Wróblewska, the National Museum by Agnieszka Morawińska, and the Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle by Małgorzata Ludwisiak) •


Visual Arts

Wilhelm Sasnal (above)

Piotr Uklański (top right)

Anda Rottenberg (above)

When Sasnal founded the Ładnie (Nice) group in 1996 with his friends, they made one of the most radical turns in Polish art of the 1990s. Ładnie addressed problems across the spectrum of economic, cultural and social changes, often illustrating them with jokingly realistic paintings. Many of Sasnal’s works are close to critical art, such as the ‘Maus’ series inspired by the comics of Art Spiegelman. With his transparent visual language, humorous content and unusual painterly craft, Sasnal rapidly became the best selling Polish painter, with his works shown at the world’s leading galleries, like Anton Kern in New York and Whitechapel in London. In addition to paintings, he makes films with his wife Anna •

The artistic embodiment of the American dream, Piotr Uklański lives and works in New York City, while working with the Galeria Foksal Foundation in Warsaw and Gagosian Gallery. Uklański slips easily between such disparate themes as contemporary philosophy and the pop-culture aesthetic of kitsch. In addition to installations, photographs and photomontage, Uklański directed a feature film in the Western convention whose eccentricity fully reflects the nature of the artist’s work •

Curator and author of books popularizing contemporary art. Anda Rottenberg’s outlook as a curator has often generated social criticism, sparking changes in the Polish public discourse and mirroring the maladies of Polish culture. One of Rottenberg’s greatest achievements as a curator was 2011’s Side by Side. PolandGermany. 1000 Years of Art and History at the Martin-GropiusBau in Berlin •



Contemporary Classical Music

The greatest since Chopin

That's how critics and music journalists describe Poland's generation of distinguished 20th century composers. Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski have achieved international renown, as have as those associated with the Polish Composers’ School including Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Wojciech Kilar. All of these names have earned a permanent place on the Polish music scene, appearing not only in orchestral repertoire but also in concert programmes geared towards a wider audience. Their compositions also act as an important point of reference for many

younger artists, particularly those who are developing their own style at the intersection between classical, jazz and pop-music styles. From Bach to Aphex Twin Penderecki’s compositions have been given a new lease of life by Aphex Twin and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, as has the solo from Górecki’s Third Symphony (The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), which was performed by Beth Gibbons from the band Portishead. Szymanowski’s works have also served as inspiration for the exception-



The sound of the future

ally versatile Polish group Kwadrofonik. Another group, Lutosphere – consisting of jazz ­pianist Leszek Możdżer, cellist Andrzej Bauer and DJ m.Bunio.s – was created in me­ mory of Lutosławski, whose spirit also lives on in the works of the two classically trained composers: Paweł Szymański and Paweł Mykietyn. True masters of music, Poland's 20th century composers successfully worked across a variety of historical styles, and were bold enough to have drawn upon the works of musical giants such as Bach or Mozart. Their own musical voice. The current Polish music scene is positively buzzing. Young artists are igniting artistic and intellectual excitement across the globe, appearing at some of the most important festivals and winning prestigious international

The eminent Polish opera singers Piotr Beczała, Aleksandra Kurzak and Mariusz Kwiecień have managed to conquer the most distinguished opera houses in the world. These have included New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala and London’s Royal Opera House, where they have taken on the title roles for Mozart’s, Donizetti’s and Verdi’s greatest operas. Polish Opera has also been releasing new works. For the last few years, Warsaw’s National Opera has been running ‘Projekt P’ helping the most promising of Poland’s young composers to debut their operas, including Jagoda Szmytka, Wojciech Blecharz, Sławomir Wojciechowski, Marcina Stańczyk as well as Sławomir Kupczak and Katarzyna Głowicka. ‘Making opera the music of the future is the apple in my eye; we’re looking for the next Penderecki’ explains Mariusz Treliński, Artistic Director for the National Opera, talking about the project •

prizes. Although it would be impossible to mention all of them, some of these artists include: Agata Zubel, Andrzej Kwieciński, Jagoda Szmytka (opposite page), Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Dobromiła Jaskot, Wojciech Blecharz, Dominik Karski, Cezary Duchnowski, Sławomir Wojciechowski and Aleksandra Gryka, all of whom are tirelessly working to develop their own musical voice. They use new types of media, artfully take advantage of new possibilities for recording and reworking sounds and images, as well as enriching their compositions with elements of performance. For over 10 years the magazine, Glissando, has played a huge role in popularising their work and is the first periodical dedicated to reporting on the most interesting developments in contemporary music. It has also recently begun publishing in English •


Contemporary Classical Music

Who’s raising the temperature?

Early music – Persona Grata

Eugeniusz Rudnik (above)

The baroque orchestra Arte dei Suonatori was set up in 1993 by two violinists Ewa and Aureliusz Goliński. This excellent ensemble performs early music and are well know on the international music scene, having received generous awards by critics for their subsequent CD recordings. Arte dei Suonatori also hosts the early music festival ‘Persona Grata’ , which takes place throughout the year in various towns across Poland •

At the end of the 1950 s, Polskie Radio (Polish Radio) set up the Experimental Studio, one of the first electro-acoustic stations in Europe. Eugeniusz Rudnik was initially given the job of technician, but later moved on to become sound engineer. He also assisted composers coming to work at the station (both from Europe and the USA) to bring their artistic ideas to fruition. Rudnik took an active part in the creative process, assisting and advising along the way, as well as producing the final product. He also experimented as a composer in his own right, and has won awards at many prestigious international festivals. Tape recordings of his work are now kept in the archives of the French National Library, among other places, as well as Rudnik’s own personal stash which he keeps in his sofa-bed. Many these pieces have also been released on CD. A documentary entitled 15 Corners of the World celebrating his artistic work was made in 2014. The director, Zuzanna Solakiewicz, received an award for her depiction of the composer at the Festival del film in Locarno • Rafał Blechacz (left) At the age of twenty, pianist Rafał Blechacz secured a spectacular win at the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in 2005, achieving not only first place (second prize

was not even awarded!) and lots of public attention, in addition other special prizes and distinctions. Over the past 10 years, he has continued working assiduously, recording CDs for the Deutsche Grammophon record company and appearing in concerts across the globe. The 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth in 2010 even saw him exceeding his annual average of 40 – 45 concerts a year. ‘I think this is a good number’ , he revealed in an interview with a local paper. ‘It allows me to have some balance in my life, meaning that I can develop my other interests and find time to relax’. Rafał has also found time to pursue his doctoral studies at the Institute of Philosophy at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. Studying philosophy, he claims, helps him to understand the real essence of a piece of music. He was awarded to prestigious Gilmore Artist Award in 2014 • Kwadrofonik Consisting of two pianists – Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik, and two percussionists – Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękala, Kwadrofonik specialises in contemporary music, taking on commissions and debuts from young Polish composers. Their second – but by no means less important – love is Polish folk music, having kicked off their career with a victory at the folk music festival ‘Nowa Tradycja (New Tradition) •



Golden Age




Poland's architecture has experienced many transformations, crowned by winning Europe’s most important architectural prize in 2015: the Mies van der Rohe Award for the new concert hall of the Szczecin Philharmonic (previous page). The mass of this stunning building has been compared to a glowing iceberg. The design for the philharmonic, resembling abstract sculpture while fitting harmoniously into the city's fabric was developed by Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga at their studio in Barcelona. It’s not the only surprising building to go up in Poland recently. The exhibition spaces at the Silesian Museum in Katowice were hidden underground by the Austrian architects at Riegler Riewe – a manoeuvre that allowed them to maintain mining landmarks on the surface of the site. The elegant concert hall of the Polish National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (designed by Konior Studio) is a contemporary paraphrase of the early 20th century architecture of the mining settlement at Nikiszowiec, while the National Forum of Music in Wrocław (designed by Kuryłowicz & Associates) is inspired by the soundbox of a violin. Cracow’s new

Cricoteka Museum of Tadeusz Kantor (designed by Wizja + nsMoonStudio) is a bridge-shaped building faced in rust-covered Corten steel, rising above the structures of a former power plant. In Warsaw, Polin, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, resembles a glass jewel case enclosing not only an exceptional exhibition space but also a spectacular and expressive hall with rippling concrete walls (designed by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki). Although designs for major public cultural and sports institutions have captured much attention, ‘ordinary’ residential and office projects have been just as thoughtfully designed. The interests of Polish architects extend even further. Many of them combine their architectural practice with social initiatives, seeking alternatives for traditional building materials and smashing stereotypes about how design can be practised – all to the benefit of spaces in Polish cities and the residents who use them • Porta Posnania ICHOT (below) is connected to Cathedral Island by a footbridge over the Cybina River. Designed by architects Ad Artis Emerla, Jagiełłowicz, Wojda •



3 — Concepts for the Future Cohabitat How to design a civilization for the next 1,000+ years? It requires tools for effective regeneration of human health as well as renewal of the environment. The Cohabitat Foundation rises to this challenge by building a model of the autonomous town of the future. It experiments with constructions from blocks of straw and clay, production of energy from biomass, and local fabrication in the spirit ‘let’s do this together’. Thousands of people participate in online seminars and workshops and read books published by Cohabitat •

1 — Courage WWAA (above) ‘What we are constantly trying to uphold in our design team is openness to new conceptions and an eagerness to take on challenges', say Natalia Paszkowska and Marcin Mostafa, founders of the young but highly experienced studio WWAA. ‘We’re not afraid to experiment, whether it’s with scale, function, aesthetics, or technical solutions. Whether it’s designing residential buildings, sets for museum exhibitions, temporary pavilions or public buildings, we think it’s all equally interesting and valuable. At a time when our profession is becoming increasingly diversified, fracturing off into deeper and deeper specializations, we would still like to maintain the right balance, and take part in as many different aspects of architectural design as possible’ •

2— Community H2 Architekci & Odblokuj (‘Unblock’) Association They operate at the boundaries of architecture and social activism. As active designers – the H2 Architekci studio – they create concepts for public buildings, libraries and community centres, and as the Odblokuj (‘Unblock’) Association they carry out projects devoted to urban spaces that are ordinarily devalued, forgotten and neglected, like big residential

estates. With temporary initiatives, a sense of identity can be restored to these locations, recalling their history and showcasing their unique character. The association pursues all of its ventures in cooperation with the residents, because community-building and integration of the local society are key goals of its efforts •



4 — Originality



KWK Promes & Robert Konieczny (above: Konieczny’s Ark – the architect’s own house) ‘What interests me above all in architecture is the false bottom’, says Robert Konieczny, one of Poland’s most celebrated architects, whose single-family homes have gained notoriety and praise in the international arena. ‘I value an idea or concept, spatial or formal, that may not be apparent at

first glance, but conveys the realization of something exceptional. Contemporary architecture is dominated by loud designs that attract attention but lack unique character. I think that in architecture walls aren’t as important as the space between them. Fashions fade, materials age, but

a well-designed space will always endure and maintain its value. I hope that we have managed to achieve that ‘something’ in some projects, such as the Aatrialny, OUTrialny and Bezpieczny houses. It’s not always possible to achieve, but that’s the kind of architecture I prize the highest’ •




Writers write and readers read The greatest change and hardest challenge facing Polish literature, like the literature of other small and mid-sized countries and languages, arises from the need to merge with global culture’s circulatory system (which de facto means English-speaking culture) while at the same time defending its distinctness and local flavour. Fiction by the next generation of Poles must not become just an offshoot of English-language literature or global literature – or even Polish literature. Polish literature in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century is coping well with the realities of the free market for cultural goods. Authors have learned how to draw on the language and traditions of literary convention. Critics have slowly began to forgive authors for their imagination. Publishers have understood that today, books must fight for readers’ attention with movies, social media, and TV shows – especially TV shows. Through it all, readers still read •

Lexicon of Polish literary ­phenomena, abridged edition Instructions for use: Read the entries in any order you wish. Try out selected trains of thought on your own brain.

K for kids Raising children to be dedicated consumers of literature! The responsible task of sharing the magic of reading with youngsters is in talented hands. Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński have conquered the world with their books Maps and What Will Become of You? The publishing house Dwie Siostry is leading the way in promoting valuable and unique children’s literature, with a stable of talented authors and illustrators of the younger generation, such as Grzegorz Kasdepke, Agata Królak and Agata Dudek (above). There’s also strong demand for reprints of publishing classics, such as the innovative works of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson •



A for authors Writers have no easy task: they must capture and hold the attention of audiences bombarded with the easy culture of TV shows and the Internet. So writers have become brands, carefully projecting a consistent image and staying message. Michał Witkowski, author of the controversial queer novel Lubiewo, electrifies both gossip websites and literary theoreticians with his provocative incarnation of literature bordering on performance art. Jacek Dehnel (left) charms readers with an aura of a gentleman writer, his prose erudite, slightly nostalgic and encrusted with allusions to classical literature. A different strategy was adopted by

Szczepan Twardoch, author of the bestseller Morphine, a specialist in Silesian climes and masculine elegance of the tough-guy James-Bond variety. The literary middle ground is occupied by crime fiction, produced by writers associated with the higher registers as well as by crime-novel specialist (such as Marek Krajewski, Katarzyna Bonda and Zygmunt Miłoszewski). Every now and then literary critics renew the debate whether it’s better to promote popular literature to entice the resistant masses, or abandon them to the mercy of other media and reinforce the battlements of High Art. There’s no answer yet •

F for festivals What’s the most effective way to reach readers? No one really knows, but you have to try, with nudging, nagging and promotion. The Warsaw Book Fair held at the National Stadium targets a broad audience, while the Conrad Festival in Cracow features a literature prize for debuting writers. Initiatives by enthusiasts offer an alternative to mass events, supported by crowdfunding and aimed at getting readers strongly engaged in literary narratives interwoven with the urban fabric. Warsaw Reads is a series of events focused around a single book selected in a straw poll. ‘Czytaj!’ the Częstochowa Festival for Deconstruction of the Word, relies on transmedia literary practices. For example, have you ever tried to sew a poem with a needle and thread? •

C for comics Fondly known as the bastard child of culture. This medium, long associated only with didactic series about brave police officers or American heroes in tights, is now effectively deployed as a fresh and deft tool for depicting reality. Fugazi, Marcin Podolec’s take on the 1990 s music scene, has been picked up by one foreign publisher after another (France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Germany), while Maciej Sieńczyk’s nested story-within-a-story Adventures

on a Desert Island has been published in the UK and Italy. Take note of the postmodern comics of the Maszin group, inspired by the Polish school of graphics and poster art • Above: picture from Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz/Dennis Wojda Mikropolis comic book •



L  for libraries Sorry for those who love the scent of old paper. In recent years libraries have been dusted off, updated and computerized. They now run discussion clubs, readings by authors, and workshops. They can be a showcase for the whole city. The University of Warsaw Library is an architectural icon, and visitors flock to its rooftop garden. In Opole, the municipal library looks like it’s drifting down the river •

P for poets

R for reportage

Cracow is regarded as the stronghold of poets, as it is closely tied to the 1920 s avantgarde and Nobel Prize winners Vistulawa Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz (above). The modern wave is represented by lyrical experts associated with Korporacja Ha!art circles and ‘cyberbum’ poetry – tough, obnoxious, and circulated under a creative commons licence •

Poles love reportage and read it avidly. Ryszard Kapuściński is still the king of the genre, followed among others by Wojciech Jagielski, a specialist in Africa and the Middle East, and Mariusz Szczygieł, who examines his beloved Prague with an exceptionally sympathetic sense of humour. Excellent new writers in this field continue to emerge. A star

of the younger generation is Filip Springer, adroitly diagnosing the maladies afflicting new 30-something urbanites. Truth is stranger than fiction, so booksellers offer more and more titles of ‘literature of fact’ on every topic you might want to know aboutor more often what you’d rather forget •



Champions of the (Literary) Force Olga Tokarczuk (born 1962) An author who's pulled off an impossible trick for years: she is praised by critics and adored by a mass readership. Every book by Tokarczuk is an event debated about in both specialists and social media. Her novels are crammed with myths, factoids, legends and slices of everyday life. In her books you’ll find the story of a bearded female saint, a cake recipe using poisonous, psychedelic fly agaric mushrooms, and the trick for avoiding evil according to the Beguny sect of Old Believers: always keep moving. Special power: The finest dreadlocks in Polish highbrow literature • Dorota Masłowska (born 1983) Debuted in 2002 with White and Red, a virtuoso composition with borrowings from street language, pop culture, and the trash heap of everyday media

fodder. Masłowska (above) captures spot-on the climate of Poland in constant turmoil, aiming high but sinking into a swamp of complexes and illusions. She’s recently been doing the same as a songwriter (under the pseudonym Mister D.). Special power: Girlish charm. Masłowska ventured onto the literary scene over a decade ago but remains a volatile enfant terrible • Andrzej Stasiuk (born 1960) Writes novels, stories and essays, and with Monika Sznajderman co-owns the Czarne publishing house, specializing in promotion of literature from Central & Eastern Europe as well as reportage. Stasiuk’s works can be shuffled to suit a range of readers, from tales of sexual escapades to meditative travel essays from the trackless wilds of the ‘worse Europe’ .Unexpectedly, Stasiuk’s oeuvre also includes a volume of love poems.

Special power: Distance. The writer lives in the village of Wołowiec in the Low Beskid mountains and rarely leaves his hideaway; you won’t catch him riding the media bandwagon • Jacek Dukaj (born 1974) Dispels the myth that at a certain age you can’t admit ‘My favourite literary genre is fantasy’. A short story of his, The Cathedral, was made into an animated short film by Tomasz Bagiński which was nominated for an Oscar. Dukaj’s most famous work is the monumental novel Ice, where in an alternative world at the threshold of the 20th century Europe freezes over and Russia becomes a scientific and industrial power. Special power: Diversification. Ice is literally weighty, at 1,054 pages in hardback, but Dukaj also wrote the ephemeral hypertext work The Old Axolotl, available exclusively as an ­ebook •


Performing Arts


Play Against Routine

Even if you don’t speak Polish, that doesn’t mean a visit to a Polish theatre would be a waste of time. Polish drama speaks a universal language, reaching audiences from every continent. Contemporary Polish theatre loves to jump into the fray and get involved. Directors like Krzysztof Warlikowski (above 2015’s The French), Grzegorz Jarzyna, the irrepressible Maja Kleczewska, or the radical and uncompromising duo of Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski stir up a hornets’ nest of urgent social topics. Their shows contribute an important and often controversial voice to public debate, and they don’t back down from challenging and pointing out the audiences’ own faults. A young generation of directors, playwrights and curators are taking over more and more major stages in Warsaw, Bydgoszcz and Kalisz. There are more theatres in Warsaw than in Berlin, which illustrates the significant role the performing arts play in Polish culture •



Experimental Tradition Poland is home to two worldfamous performing arts traditions tied to the work of distinguished experimental theatre directors: Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor (above). Grotowski founded Teatr Laboratorium in Wrocław where he realized the credo of ‘poor theatre’, which throws out everything from the show that

is non-essential, to focus on the relations between the audience and the actor. Kantor was a creator of avant-garde theatre but also a visual artist and theoretician. He was a pioneer of happenings and introduced Informalism to Poland, as well as specific ‘ready-mades’ he called ‘objects of the lowest rank’ •

A self-organizing community Today, the impetus comes from artists who defy these traditions and are close to the post-dramatic, post-happening language or the American neo-avant-garde. The independent theatre Komuna// Warszawa (right), Centrum w Ruchu (Centre in Motion—a group of young choreographers), and Wojtek Ziemilski (director and founder of the mini-theatre XS) experiment between disciplines and propose new models for institutions and contact with the audience. Dance is witnessing a real boom after a group of ambitious choreographers – for example Marysia Stokłosa,

Karol Tymiński and Magda Ptasznik – returned from top schools abroad and found professional backing at centres like Stary Browar/Nowy Taniec (Old Brewery/New Dance) in Poznań

or the Ciało/Umysł (Body/Mind) festival. Visual artists like Oskar Dawicki and Konrad Smoleński are increasingly incorporating performance into their works within museum walls •


Performing arts

Weronika Szczawińska – theatre director, artistic director of the Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre in Kalisz

dance in Central & Eastern Europe •

What’s most intriguing in the performing arts in Poland today is far out of the mainstream. For example, Komuna// Warszawa not only prepares its own shows incorporating theatre and visual arts, but also invites outside artists to carry out multidisciplinary projects. This forces encounters by artists from differing fields who are all interested in the growth of engaged art. The dance community is also booming, with figures like Agata Maszkiewicz and Agata Siniarska • Joanna Leśnierowska – dance curator and choreographer, initiator of Poland’s first space dedicated exclusively to dance, Stary Browar/Nowy Taniec (Old Brewery/New Dance) in Poznań ...Poznań (BELOW) The last decade has been marked by young Polish choreography. An entire generation of talented and ambitious creators returned from studying abroad and set the tone for today’s dance scene. Their work has helped Poland find a permanent place on the world map of dance, and with numerous international festivals and innovative projects they have made the Polish dance scene into one of the most interesting centres for

Marysia Stokłosa – choreographer After 10 years away studying and working in London, Amsterdam and Berlin, I returned to Poland and plunged into the development of the dance community. With a group of more than a dozen choreographers I founded Centrum w Ruchu (Centre in Motion), a collective and site for experimental choreography in Warsaw. It’s a core that attracts bold performing artists, critics, and a growing public • Marta Keil – curator who reinvented the Theatre Confrontations festival in Lublin with Robert Reszke In the last 20 years we have witnessed an explosion of theatre festivals—over 400 now and still growing. Festivals are no longer just a forum for showcasing the work of a given artist, but increasingly contribute actively to creation of the contemporary scene, producing new shows, joining national and international coproductions and hosting

residencies for artists. Polish festivals are rapidly raising their profile on the international circuit, entering into cooperation with key festivals in Europe and coproducing some of the most electrifying contemporary artists, like Gob Squad, Andcompany, and Forced Entertainment. Troupes are eager to return to Poland because they don’t find such enthusiastic audiences elsewhere • Piotr Gruszczyński – theatre critic and playwright affiliated with MCK Nowy Teatr in Warsaw The way institutional theatres are operated in Poland is changing. Nowy Teatr International Centre of Culture is a special place not only because of the artistic director himself, Krzysztof Warlikowski, and the site where the centre is being built, but also because of the conception for creating a space blending disciplines and genres. The word ‘theatre’ does appear in the name of the institution, but under Warlikowski’s philosophy we reject any notion of theatre or theatricality that smacks of the routine or of tired conventions •


Most Muses work on laptops


Get moving! Keeping it healthy and interesting Poles have gotten up from behind their desks or in front of their TV sets, piled out of their cars, and taken up sports. Gyms, swimming pools, and fitness centres have sprung up around the country like mushrooms. It seems anywhere you look you’ll find a yoga school or a dance studio.

‘Sport is part of being eco, just like watching our diet and what we eat’, explains Maja Włoszczowska, silver medallist in mountain biking at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. ‘People want to be eco in everything they do, and sport is great for that. Besides, physical activity is a great way to relieve everyday stress’. Overall, the most popular sport in Poland is football, both in terms of active

participation and spectating at the new stadiums built for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. Polish footballers ply their trade at some of the top European clubs. The biggest star in Polish football today is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. Thanks to ‘Lewy’ , football fans the world over know about Poland •

Sport and fitness

Fu Be and the commando dog Poles are not immune to the running bug. Thousands cross the finish lines of marathons and half marathons. But diehard runners seek more – hence the growing trend for ultramarathons. Filip Bojko and his dog Eto (above) make an unusual pair. Eto clocks extra miles as he gets bored with the routine and chases sticks or leaps up to greet other runners • Robert Lewandowski (RIGHT), nickname ‘Lewy’, Polish footballer playing as a striker for Bayern Munich and captain of the Polish national squad. The 8th most expensive player in the world. In 2015 he set an astonishing record of 5 goals in 9 minutes during a Bayern game! •



Sport and fitness

Ski Jump Fever In winter, ski jumping sets popularity records in Poland. ­Interest in this fairly offbeat sport went through the roof with the victories by Adam Małysz, who led the world in ski jumping for a few years at the beginning of the 21st century. Interestingly, before Małysz began to achieve success, he thought about giving up his sports career and returning to the trade he was trained for, as a roofer. Małysz Mania ended in 2011 when the multi-medalist retired. But he was followed by a new idol, Kamil Stoch (right), who won two gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi •

Yoga Yoga first took hold in Poland in the 1990 s when the borders were opened and Poles could more easily visit its birthplace, India. But the real boom was in the first decade of the new millennium. Yoga schools have popped up everywhere, attracting all ages. In warm

weather practitioners head out into nature. An example is yoga in the grass as part of the Summer in the Valley initiative in Warsaw’s Służewiec district (above), headed by Joanna Happach, architect and curator of Pawilon M3 •


Sport and fitness

Ball or hammer? We really love football, but it’s not the only discipline we’re successful at. We win prizes in more niche events that require lots of focus, such as volleyball, the hammer throw, and ski jumping. Poles also excel at track and field events. At the 2015 World Championships held in Beijing, Poland ranked 6th in the medal count and produced three world champions. Poles have gone crazy over volleyball, and the country’s volleyball supporters are a most boisterous and colourful group. In 2014, the Polish men won the world championship, beating Brazil in the final (above). The tournament was held in Poland-not surprising, as nowhere else in the world does volleyball stir such emotions and draw such crowds as in Poland. The opening match was attended by 63,000 fans Tennis player Agnieszka Radwańska (LEFT), a women’s singles Wimbledon finalist in 2012 and former number 2 in the WTA rankings is one of Poland’s most quoted athletes. In 2015, she captured the WTA Finals tournament held in Singapore •


Sport and fitness

Not just self-defence

Ministry of pole dancing

The range of combat sports and styles is so wide that anyone can find one that’s right for them. Both men and women are interested in the martial arts. In the training centres you can find teenagers, gentlemen in their 50s, and mothers sparring with their daughters. A decade ago the courses for women were essentially limited to self-defence, but today they are treated as equal participants in every style of combat (ABOVE). Poland’s biggest star in mixed martial arts is 28 year-old Joanna Jędrzejczyk, who became the first European Ultimate Fighting Championship champion •

Women are boldly taking up forms of exercise that just a few years ago were associated exclusively with strip clubs – and giving them a whole new meaning. Pole dancing and burlesque are an example. The pioneer of the new type of pole dancing here is Marta Majchrzak. Five years ago she urged a friend, a dancer at the Buffo Theatre in Warsaw, to fly to London for a professional pole dancing course. Upon their return, the two founded

Oh Lala, a pole dancing school. They hit the bull’s eye. Majchrzak says they have never spent a penny on advertising, and there is no shortage of students. Today Oh Lala is an institution recommended by the Ministry of Sport for training that exercises women’s (and men’s) entire body, such as twerking, acrobatics, and even workouts with former commandos •

Sport and fitness Cycling is one of the most popular sport activities in ­Poland. Poles ride their bikes to work, go on leisure rides and participate in numerous cycling competitions. •



Sport and fitness

Keeping your feet dry across a thousand lakes Sailing in Mazuria, the land of a thousand lakes, is one of Poland’s biggest tourist attractions. Nowhere else in the world has so many lakes linked by canals, with sailing routes dozens of kilometres long, where outings can last for weeks. One of the busiest training centres for new sailors is Gertis in Giżycko. It is run by Marek Makowski, who is passionate about Mazuria and sailing. He founded the firm 9 years ago and so far it has taught over a thousand people how to sail. The school is based at Ekomarina Giżycko, the most up-to-date facility of its kind in Mazuria. Lots of foreigners take classes there. When asked about dangers on the water, Makowski says the most injuries come from falling out of hammocks in the port •

Grab your ski poles and walk Undoubtedly the most popular exercise among Poles today is running, but it’s not for everyone. Nordic walking (left) is also popular, and one of its greatest proponents is Krzysztof Człapski. At first he thought walking with ski poles seemed somehow unmanly, but he suffered from problems in his spine and knees and was threatened with two serious operations. Thanks to Nordic walking, he managed to avoid them. Today he’s not only healthy, but encourages others to take up this activity. He learned Nordic walking from the Internet, and in his observation 90 % of people don’t do it correctly. Człapski is the current Polish champion in Nordic walking at the 10 km distance in the 50+ age category. Nordic walking is slowly becoming an athletic discipline. One argument that is winning over amateurs is that it’s an exercise that develops all muscle groups evenly •


Poles' sports participation

jr 52%

100 % of population

p sp pl   � 33% 29% no si 32% 17% 14%

DATA: TNS, 2015. (Based on Eurobarometr survey, Nov. – Dec. 2013, published March 2014)

Poles at the Olympic Games 1924 Paris (22) 23 1928 Amsterdam (21) 12333 1932 Los Angeles (14) 1123333 1936 Berlin (22) 222333 1948 London (34) 3 1952 Helsinki (20) 1223 1956   Cortina d'Ampezzo (12) 3 1956 Melbourne (17) 122223333 1960 Rome (9) 11112222223 3333333333 1960   Squaw Valley (11) 23 1964 Tokyo (7) 111111122222 23333333333

1968 Mexico City (11) 1111122333333 33333 1972  Sapporo (13) 1 1972 Munich (7) 111111122222 333333333 1976 Montreal (6) 1111111222222 3333333333333 1980 Moscow (10) 1112222222222 2233333333333 333333 1988 Seoul (20) 11222223333 33333 1992 Barcelona (19) 11122222233 33333333 1996 Atlanta (11) 111111122222 33333

2000 Sydney (14) 11111122222 333 2002   Salt Lake City (21) 23 2004 Athens (23) 1112233333 2006  Turin (20) 23 2008 Beijing (20) 1112222223 2010  Vancouver (15) 122233 2012 London (30) 1122333333 2014  Sochi (11) 111123 Legend   Winter Olimpics 1 Gold medal 2 Silver medal 3 Bronze medal (X) Medal rank


Food Polish cuisine is tempting for its great variety, as it has mingled with the traditions of many other lands and peoples. This is partly a result of the country’s complex history, and partly just a willingness to try new things.

The old Polish Commonwealth was a true ethnic mosaic, inhabited by Poles as well as Germans, Lithuanians, Ruthenians, Jews, Tatars, Turks and Armenians. Its food in the Middle Ages was dominated by grain and meat, wild game and freshwater fish. Vegetables arrived on Polish tables in the 16th century from Italy, followed by French influences in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, when Poland did not exist as an independent state but was partitioned among its neighbours Austria, Prussia and Russia, the Polish people assimilated their culinary customs and pecu-

liarities. Polish cuisine today is developing rapidly, intensively making up for time lost through 50 years of communism. One of the great strengths of Polish cuisine is the excellent quality of its agricultural products and the bounty of its forests. It bodes well for a tasty future. Poles are quick learners, and that’s another strength: we want to be up to the minute! Bloggers, food fairs, culinary festivals and new chefs show us the direction we should be aiming our plates •

Plum crumble (right) is a traditional cake baked in every Polish home. Sour plums with a sweet crunchy topping are the taste of autumn. In September, everyone enjoys the plum variety called węgierki – grown in their own backyard or a gift from family and friends •





Meat Diet

Around Europe Poland is known for lamb, goose and duck, as well as wild game, which for years was the pride of our table. We’re also world leaders in the produc-

tion of sausages, particularly the smoked varieties seasoned with a hint of garlic and marjoram, recognizable anywhere by the Polish name kiełbasa •



Tradition ever present Anna Maria Anders – daughter of Gen. Władysław Anders (commander of the Polish Army in the USSR (1941–1942) and the Polish II Corps during the Italian Campaign (1943–1945), as well acting Commander in Chief of the Polish Armed Forces in the West) and the stage actress Irena Renata Bogdańska. Born and raised in England, she has been living in Poland for years. She is a Senator of the Polish Republic and the Prime Minister’s Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue.

where Polish cooking reigned supreme every day and and during the holidays. Contrary to popular belief, Polish cuisine doesn’t have to be heavy. If you compare it to my early experiences with English cuisine, Polish cuisine comes out splendidly. Day to day, we ate not only what my mother served, but also our favourites. For soups that meant broth, sorrel soup or borscht. For the main course, minced cutlets, a joint of beef, gołąbki (stuffed cabbage), pierogi, or macaroni with ham. On Christmas Eve, there was the traditional feast of 12 dishes, featuring borscht with dumplings, carp and herring, on Christmas Day we had roast beef. The classic Easter breakfast included żurek (sour-rye soup), stuffed eggs, ham and a Polish cuisine has always been a phenomenon for me. Although range of cold cuts. At our home, we often hosted I was born in England and lived festive dinner parties—“sitthere for many years, I was down suppers.” Of course, Polbrought up in a Polish home,

ish appetizers and cold cuts reigned. My father also specialized in preparing a spiked strawberry punch some called kruszon, which was served during a garden party held each year on June 27 – his name day. After years spent in many places around the world, and the related culinary adventures, I returned with sentiment to Polish tastes. Today, I just adore Polish soups, a good roast duck with red cabbage or beets, or a joint of beef. From my father—who as a classic soldier liked simple, healthy dishes—I retain a weakness for herring with olive oil and onion, as well as fresh eggs from the Polish countryside, from hens ranging freely through the fields and meadows. I believe that Polish yogurts are the finest in the world. Ecological, healthy Polish food: it could become a symbol of of the highest quality cuisine and a healthy lifestyle •


Roots cooking Tomasz Hartman Creator and head of the Food Think Tank Foundation, E ­ xecutive Chef at Szajnochy 11 in Wrocław


We dig down deeper than seasonal, local or regional food and new interpretations of classics. We call it ‘roots cooking’ because it reaches down to our Slavic roots and links them to our contemporary experiences. We rely on hunting and gathering what the earth offers us. We use long-forgotten cooking techniques. We cook using rain-

water that we collect ourselves. We bury soup in the ground for three days. We ferment, pickle and brine. Some dishes – such as a dessert from continually frozen and thawed apples – are prepared for half a year. We make things from them similar to what nature would make, or our ancestors who didn’t have refrigerators. We take a similar


approach not just to the food, but to the whole arrangement of meals in the particular space. For example, the earthenware on which we serve meals is made from local materials. For our ‘Earth and Water’ suppers we use a series of clay dishes that have only been dried, not fired; after eating, the guests can toss them under the table,

returning them to the earth from which they came. The purpose of the Food Think Tank is to create a better city, a better society, better relations between people, to build a greater understanding for other people’s work. As a cook, I already know a lot not just about culinary techniques, but also crowdfunding,


composing music, pottery. Our projects are a pretext to work together on one problem from various perspectives. The chef is not all that important for us. The backhoe driver is just as important  •



Wholemeal bread with dried apples and cider

ingredients 10 g fresh yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 150 ml water 200 g wheat flour (preferably bread flour) 200 g spelt flour (type 1850) 1 i ½ teaspoons sea salt 100 g cooked potatoes 120 ml cider 3 teaspoons olive oil 1 apple


Mix the yeast, sugar and 100 ml of warm water in a bowl and leave for 15 minutes for the yeast to get started. Combine the flour with the salt and the potatoes (pressed through a ricer), make an indentation in the middle and pour in first the yeast mixture, then the cider, the olive oil, and the rest of the water. Add the water gradually, because the amount depends on the type of flour. Use just enough water so that the dough kneads out smooth and springy. Add the apple, unpeeled but cored and diced (you may set aside an apple slice for decoration). Knead for a while, then place in a bowl greased with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour. When the dough has risen, shape it into a round loaf, and garnish with an apple slice if you like. Place in a basket

Recipe from Eliza Móraw­ ska – aka ‘Liska’ or ‘Whiteplate’ from the name of her hit blog whiteplate.com. She’s the one who launched the rage for cooking blogs in Poland. Author of cookbooks; the two latest, About Apples and About Bread, especially match the tastes of her compatriots. Poland is Europe’s biggest apple producer, and Poles were raised with an unusual respect for bread – typically based on a sourdough starter – which they consume in large quantities.


dusted with flour and leave to rise again for 45 – 60 min. Place a pizza stone, or a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper, in the oven and heat to 240 °C. Spray the walls of the oven with water or toss half a cup of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven. Slide the risen loaf onto the hot stone. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 210 °C and bake another 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown, checking the doneness of the bread in the interim. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool before slicing •



Pleasant and beneficial urban gardening Joanna Sanecka – a sociologist whose interests revolve around sustainable growth and urban nature. She has her own allotment garden in Warsaw.

People who miss ‘real food’ more and more often decide to plant vegetables in the city, in allotment gardens or community gardens. The allotment garden movement dates back to the end of the 19th century. What functions do such tiny gardens serve? Extremely varied and always beneficial. For example, ecologically: flowers bloom there year-round. Thanks to allotment vegetation, urban beekeeping is reviving, and there are more and more apiaries in the cities. The allotments also perform important social functions: older people find a place for themselves in the city, where their own garden is an area for enjoyment and activity, where pleasant neighbourly bonds continue to function. It’s a great place for families with small



Bottled flavours – the art of making cordials

More and more apiaries are showing up in cities, for example on the roofs of highrises •

‘In this popular movement the variety and quality of the fruit used for the cordials is crucial’ ,says Zbyszek Kmieć, a rural sociologist who’s passionate about making cordials. Amateur and home producers use what they find at the local market or in their own

children, where kids can observe how nature works and where food comes from. Allotments have become incredibly fashionable among young people. Hipsters buy or lease them to grow ecological cucumbers. Edible plants are also the domain of community gardens, where groups form to grow vegetables. Polish allotment gardeners keep fruit trees and berry shrubs, and sometimes plant vegetables, but increasingly prefer decorative plantings. But the beauty of allotments is that everyone can run their allotment as they wish. If they want it to be a playground for kids, fine, or if they want to grow carrots for soup, they can do that too!

garden. But artisanal craft cordial makers have been known to travel hundreds of kilometres to source just the right fruit. They also create combinations with overlooked fruits like bird cherry or seabuckthorn •



Hipster food vs Michelin stars

Maria Przybyszewska – food maker who studied photography and production management, cook, food stylist. She was an intern at Noma in Copenhagen, rated as the best restaurant on the planet.

In Poland there are more and more important chefs who didn’t study gastronomy. Musicologists, sculptors, economist are all cooking at well-known restaurants. I became a cook out of passion. I organize pop-up breakfasts. It’s the food concept that suits me best: total strangers gathered around a huge table, intent on their meal. Food brings people together •

Cooking in the rhythm of nature

Wojciech Modest Amaro – chef and restaurateur. His restaurant Atelier Amaro was the first in Poland to win a Michelin star.

Poland’s wealth is its variety and tradition. We are a kingdom of mushrooms, wild herbs and fish. We have excellent natural water springs. There are over 1.5 million small farms, well-developed fruit farming and dairy processing. The philosophy of my atelier revolves around nature’s calendar. Following its rhythms, we seek out the ingredients that are at the peak of their form in a given week. So we serve asparagus only 4 weeks a year, tomatoes for 6 weeks at most, and the rest evolves depending on what is blossoming and ripening and what is available in the hunting or fishing season •





Milk bars

Once scorned, regarded after 1989 as a relic of socialist collective feeding, today they are a place where you can eat cheaply and well. This is not the place to find culinary experiments but dishes that we know and love. Milk bars tell a big story about our gastronomic history. It’s an atmosphere where you might encounter a professor or a student, a policeman or an artist •

The growing interest in cuisine and everything connected with food culture has encouraged the creation of new publications. They are well written and designed, with an innovative approach and a fresh impact, and names like Kuchnia or Kukbuk, Usta or Smak •



Food trucks

Food trucks are dynamic, they prove how fast the Polish culinary scene is evolving. They also perfectly fill a gap with good, cheap food. They’re something like slow-style fast food. They might offer hot dogs or hamburgers, but in a gourmet version made from top-quality products. Launching a food truck is a modest investment, an alternative for experimenters who can’t afford to open a brick-and-mortar location. It’s a point of transition between amateur cooking and a professional restaurant •




Cheese explorer

'My adventure with farmhouse cheeses, as I call them, began in 2007’ , says Gieno Miętkiewicz. ‘In an old store from the Wiejskie Klimaty chain, I found cheeses from local artisanal cheese makers. I was lucky, because these were three brilliant cheeses. They were made by Sergiusz Langrowicz from Ranczo Frontiera, the Symonowicz family from Praslity, and Thorsten Buth, a Frisian trained

Rediscovering flavours Polish cuisine is eager to seek out and rediscover forgotten products, like Jerusalem artichokes. A current hit is freshwater mussels, which had been eaten centuries ago. Cultivating forgotten varieties of beets, carrots and beans promotes biodiversity and brings back old dishes and flavours •

in cheese making in Switzerland who settled in Węgajty near Olsztyn. These cheeses fascinated me. I started wondering if maybe there were more such producers, figuring there might be 20 or 30. To my surprise, after a month I had a list of over 50, and after half a year I knew about several hundred. Now I know 150 of them personally, I know of 600, and I’m still discovering new ones’ •


What time do Poles eat?


The time of Poles’ main hot meal of the day

before 2 pm




after 6 pm

irregular/ different times





between 2 pm and 4 pm

21% between 4 pm and 6 pm

What do Poles eat?

zb zb zb zb zb zb zb zb pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi pi ma mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi ry ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml ml nana na na na  ja ja ja ja ja jaja ja  ja ja ja ja wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi zi ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow al al al al

Average monthly per person consumption in a household Legend zb Cereal products (¼ kg) pi Breads (¼ kg) ma Pasta (¼ kg) mi Meat (¼ kg) ryv Fish (¼ kg) ml Milk (¼ L) na Dairy products (¼ kg) ja Eggs (quantity) wa Vegetables (¼ kg) zi Potatoes (¼ kg) ow Fruits (¼ kg) al Alcohol (¼ L)

Photo Credits Aeropix 152 Press images of Academia Gorila 226 Akson Studio 193 Alternatif Turistik/Kris Duda 77 Anna & Miachal / Flickr.com 94 Aotearoa/Wikimedia Commons 24 Arsenał Art Gallery 113 Kenny Baird 204 Bartłomiej Barczyk/Agencja Gazeta 190 Jarosław Bartołowicz 142 Press images of Beacon ­­ Valley 182 Piotr Beczewski 66 Radek Benet 162 Krzysztof Bieliński 207 Bildagentur Huber / Schmid ­Reinhard/Forum 120 BPI/REX Shutterstock/East News 223 Adam Bogdan 138 Ł. Borkowski/City of Lublin 105 Kuba Bożanowski/ flickr.com 44–45 Filip Bramorski 16–17 Iwona Burdzanowska/Agencja Gazeta 44 City of Bydgoszcz 129, 130 Cafe La Ruina 161 Cambridge University - Trinity College/ Wikimedia Commons 24 Press images Central Museum of Textiles 65 Centrum Promocji Bieszczad 34 Jakub Certowicz 89, 211 Kasia Chmura-Cegiełkowska/ teatralna.com 52, 219 M. Cieszewski/polska.pl 20, 26–27, 28, 34, 35, 36–37, 39, 44, 46, 50, 58, 64, 68, 75, 77, 82, 87, 94, 100, 105, 107, 108, 111, 113, 114, 116, 132, 137, 138, 139, 145, 150151, 156, 159, 160, 164, 168, 170, 172, 173, 174, 180, 184, 188, 203, 216, 225, 228 Coal Mine Museum in Zabrze 73 Mikołaj Długosz 23, 94 Press images of Comarch 181 Press images Cropp 200 Allan Crow 209 Press images of Ćmielów 185 dawnysopot.pl 146 dawnysopot.pl, from the Krzysztof Grynder collection 147 Michał Dąbrowski 242–243

Ł. Drobot/ Flickr.com 34 Press images of Drutex 180 Kris Duda/Flickr.com 76 Łukasz Dunikowski/Flickr.com 89 Sebastian Durbacz 238 Dwie Siostry Publishing 185, 214 Piotr Dymus/ www.piotrdymus.com 223 Press images of EC1 63 Endo 204 European Solidarity Centre 23 FoKa/Forum 144 Forum Przestrzenie 10–11, 88 Sandra Franco/TIFF festival 169 Bartosz Frydrych/Museum of Bedtime Cartoons 99 Dariusz Gackowski 131 Mariusz Gaczyński / East News 227 Galeria Foksal Foundation 205 Paulina Gawliczek 201 Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz/Dennis Wojda archives, Mikropolis comic book 215 Łukasz Gdak 157, 210 Press images of Geek Girls Carotts 183 Gerard/Reporter 134 Gingerbread Museum in Toruń 135 Łukasz Giza 14–15 Adam Golec/Kino Świat 194, 196 Nicolas Grospierre 79 Grupa Wydawnicza Foksal 215 Gryfnie 81 Karol Grygoruk 205 Wojtek Gurak/Flickr.com 25 Grzegorz Hawałaj/Fotorzepa/ Forum 167 Magda Hueckel 218–219 Ivo/Hofste 220 Andrzej Iwańczuk/Reporter 219, 224 Maciej Janiec/Flickr.com 78–79, 80 P.T. Jakubowski 52 Wojciech Jakubowski/fotokombinat 144 Piotr Jaruga 104 Oskar Jan Jarzyna 62 Radek Jaworski/Forum 5 Przemysław Jendroska/Agencja Gazeta 75 Maciej Jeziorek/Forum 44 Bartłomiej Jurecki/Forum 36 Jacek Kadaj/PAP 56–57 Tomek Kamiński 143

Katowice – City of Gardens 80, 80–81, Radosław Kaźmierczak 74, 74–75, 79 Bogna Kociumbas 140–141 Malwina Konopacka 221 Janusz Korbel 115 Paweł Kordaczuk/Olsztyn 123 Kacper Kowalski/ ­aeromedia.pl 12–13 Krzysztof Kozanowski 236, 237 Paweł Kozioł/Agencja ­Gazeta 174 Bogdan Krężel 174 Andoz Krishnadas 206 Celestyna Król 231, 241 Wojciech Kryński/POLIN Museum 59 Łukasz Krysiewicz 112 Paweł Krzan / City of Cracow Archives 85 K. Krzemiński/Nicolaus Copernicus University 82 Marek Krzyżanek/Zachęta National Gallery of Art 203 Alexandra Kubiak Ho Chi 44–45 Mikołaj Kuras/Agencja Gazeta 38, 134 www.kwasnejablko.pl 125 KWK Promes Robert Konieczny/ Jakub Certowicz 212–213 LAJA 81 Laski Diffusion/East News 60 Małgorzata Litwin 132 City of Lublin 104 Jolanta Łapinkiewicz/Łokietka 5 169 Press images of Łódź Design Festival 69 Tomasz Łuszczak 106 Marta Łuksza archives 189 madaland/iStock 239 Krystian Maj/Forum 55 Jacek Malarski 50 Piotr Małecki/Napo Images/ Forum 43 Ewa Marchewka / City of Cracow Archives 86 Krzysztof Mariański Krizz 208 David Marzocca/Flickr.com 120 Paweł Matysiak/Reporter 163 medusagroup.pl 76 Jason Merritt/Getty Images 195 Miastoprojekt Wojciech Łoziński 1951, courtesy of B. ­Skrzybalski 87 Mieczysław Michalak/Agencja Gazeta 170

Photo Credits Konrad Adam Mickiewicz/ www.konradmickiewicz.tumblr. com 161 Press images of Modra Kuchnia 162 Michał Moniuszko 112 Magdalena Muna/H2 Happach Architects 211, 224 Michał Murawski/ishootmusic. eu 198–199 Paweł Murzyn 92, 92–93 Napraw sobie miasto 78 Chris Niedenthal/Forum 139, 171 Karol Nienartowicz 18–19 Ewa Nowakowska 240 Piotr Nykowski 153 Press images of Oceanic 181 Press images of OFF Piotrkowska 66–67 Platige Image 193 City of Olsztyn 119 Press images of Opera Nova 131 Press images of Orlen 178–179 Press images of Owoce i ­Warzywa 66 Daniel Pach 133 Press images of Pan tu nie stał 68 Pap 90-91 PAWIRE/Press Association Images/East News 225 Cezary Pecold/East News 67 Błażej Pindor 59, 88 Pionier Cinema archives 151 Kuba Piórkowski 143 Henryk Poddębski, 1935, Gdynia City Museum Collection 143 Polona.pl 109 Press images of Poznański Palace 70 Tadeusz Poźniak 97, 98 Marta Pruska/www.pruska.­ flofolio.com 42 Przykuta/Wikimedia Commons 98 K. Ptak i W. Staroń / Agora SA / Argo Media 194 Grzegorz Pytka/ www.­grzegorzpytka.com 240 Dagmara Radzikowska 232 Revita Warmia Foundation/­ Jacek Sztorc 126 Reporter 91 Agnieszka Rodowicz 173 Tadeusz Rolke/Museum of Modern Art Warsaw 204 Stanisław Rozpędzik/PAP 88 Grażyna Rutowska/National Digital Archives 242

Bartłomiej Ryży 54 City of Rzeszów 97, 99 Jacek Scherer/City of Lublin 105, 106, 107 Przemek Sejwa/Studio Wasabi 112 Lena Sieczkowska 201 Marek Skorupski/Forum 122 Maciek Skowronek/Agencja Gazeta 228 Andrzej Skowroński 132 Press images of Solaris Bus & Coach 179 Marcin Somerlik 154 City of Sopot 146 Rafał Sosin 89 J. Sosiński © Watchout Productions, Agora SA 196 Stadion Energa press images 138 Tomasz Stańczak/Agencja Gazeta 63 Piotr Staroń 93 B. Stawiarski 54 Jędrzej Stelmaszek 234 Adam Stępień/Agencja Gazeta 51, 53 Press images of Stojaki 153 Street Art Festival archives 152 City of Szczecin 149, 150 Krzysztof Szlęzak 103 Jerzy Szot/Ośrodek KARTA 216 St. Szydlo /Wikimedia Commons 100 Leszek Szymański/PAP 49 Bogna Świątkowska 99 Press images of Taczaka20 159 P. Tadejko 111 Tatar Yurt Archive 116 Press images of T-Mobile Nowe Horyzonty 170 Piotr Tomczyk/MSŁ 65 City of Toruń 129, 132 Piotr Tracz 233 Tratwa Association archive 122 Zbigniew Treppa 144 Press images of TVP 197 Press images of Tylko.com 186 Andrzej Tyszko/ECm Records 200 University of Warmia and Mazury 121 Tadeusz Urbanik 145 Press images of Urban Forms 66–67 Fanny Vaucher 30, 31, 32, 33 www.vzor.pl 187 Adam Wajrak 114–115 Uwe Walter 150

City of Warsaw 24–25 Warsaw Gallery Weekend 40–41 The Warsaw Voice 208 Wezu/flickr.com 34 Węgajty Rural Theatre archives 126 Tomasz Wiech 87 Bartek Wiczorek 201 Press images of Wiedźmin 177 Sara Winiarska/Flickr.com 69 Monika Witowska 50 Jakub Wittchen 160 Jan Włodarczyk / FORUM 6–7 Wojciech Wójcik/Forum 8–9, 121, 123 Marcelina Wróbel 81 Wydawnictwo Literackie 217 Karol Wysmyk / Yeżyce Kuchnia restaurant 162–163 Press images of Zachęta National Gallery of Art 205 Zajarani.pl 60 Maciej Zakrzewski 158–159 Beata Zawrzel/Reporter 202 Znaki Czasu Centre of Contemporary Art - Toruń 133 Press images of Zortax 183 Dorota Zyguła Siemieńska/­ Poszetka 78 Press images of Oskar Zięta 187 Ola Żwan 52–53




Bar Prasowy www.facebook.com/Prasowy

Dom Music club www.facebook.com/klubDOM

Cafe Kulturalna www.facebook.com/ CafeKulturalna

Lokal Restaurant lokal-lodz.com

Chmury www.facebook.com/ kawiarniachmury Cuda Na Kiju www.facebook.com/ CudaNaKijuMultitapBar Fawory www.facebook.com/ kawiarniafawory/ Jazdów www.facebook.com/jazdow Lukullus www.cukiernialukullus.pl Royal Manufactory www.manufakturakrolewska.pl/ Mysia 3 mysia3.pl/ Neon Museum www.neonmuzeum.org Osiedle Przyjaźń przyjazn.org/ Pardon To Tu www.facebook.com/ pardontotu/ Towarzyska www.facebook.com/ Towarzyska The Museum of History of Polish Jews POLin www.polin.pl The Museum of Modern Art artmuseum.pl/pl University of Warsaw Library www.buw.uw.edu.pl

Geszeft giftshop www.geszeft.com Cieszyn castle www.zamekcieszyn.pl Gryfnie giftshop www.gryfnie.com

Łodziarnia ice cream www.facebook.com/ŁodziarniaLody-na-Okrągło

Guido Mine www.kopalniaguido.pl

Łódź Design Festival lodzdesign.com

Katowice Mural Route www.katowicestreetartfestival.pl

Łódź FashionPhilosophy Fashion Week Poland fashionweek.pl

Kronika centre of contemporary art in Bytom www.kronika.org.pl

Łódź Festival of four cultures www.4kultury.pl

Nikiszowiec www.nikiszowiec.pl

Marek Edelman dialogue centre www.centrumdialogu.com

OFF Festival www.off-festival.pl

OFF Piotrkowska offpiotrkowska.com/ ­ woce Warzywa ­ O club-­cum-cafe owoceiwarzywa.com

Katowice & ­Silesia Ars Cameralis Festival www.arscameralisfestiwal.pl Bakery Lokal www.facebook.com/ lokalbakery Concert hall of The Polish National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice www.nospr.org.pl/

Park Śląski in Chorzów www.parkslaski.pl Poszetka www.poszetka.com Sound Bureau in Katowice www.biurodzwieku.pl Szombierki Power Plant in Bytom slaskie.travel/Poi/ Pokaz/1680/53/power-plantszombierki-in-bytom Tauron Festival www.festiwalnowamuzyka.pl

Cracow Cricoteka Museum of Tadeusz Kantor in Kraków www.news.cricoteka.pl/

Classic silesian dinner in Karczma pod Młynem www.karczmapodmlynem.pl

Forum Przestrzenie club-cum-cafe www.forumprzestrzenie.com/

Dwie Lewe Ręce gallery www.dwielewerece.art.pl

Mocak, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków en.mocak.pl

Fix Your city www.naprawsobiemiasto.eu

Wieliczka www.kopalnia.pl


Rzeszów District Museum www.muzeum.rzeszow.pl The Lemko Union www.lemko.pl Museum of Bedtime Cartoon www.muzeumdobranocek. com.pl

Lublin Jewish cemetery www.sztetl.org.pl/pl/article/ lublin/12,cmentarze/1730,starycmentarz-zydowski-w-lublinieul-kalinowszczyznaKazimierz dolny www.kazimierzdolny.pl Kazimiernikejszyn Festival kazimiernikejszyn.pl

Esperanto esperanto.pl/ Grabarka www.grabarka.pl/ Janów Podlaski www.janow.arabians.pl Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok szlak.uwb.edu.pl Narew National Park www.npn.pl The European Art Centre – the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic www.oifp.eu Up To Date Festival www.uptodate.pl Villa Sokrates foundation www.villasokrates.pl

Vinyl www.facebook.com/ vinylpubolsztyn Węgajty teatrwegajty.art.pl

Toruń i ­Bydgoszcz Centre of Contemporary Art „Znaki czasu” csw.torun.pl Centre Mill of Knowledge mlynwiedzy.org.pl Gingerbread Museum www.muzeumpiernika.pl Mozg music club in Bydgoszcz mozg.pl Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz www.teatrpolski.pl

The Riversides Art and Film Festival www.dwabrzegi.pl

Węglowa weglowa.org

Victoria hotel www.hotel.victoria.lublin.pl

Wierszalin Puppet Theatre www.wierszalin.pl

Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot


Zmiana Klimatu club-cum-cafe klimatuzmiana.pl

Alternativa International Festival of Visual Arts www.alternativa.org.pl


Artloop Festival www.artloop.pl

Art gallery Arsenał www.galeria-arsenal.pl Białowieża forest www.bpn.com.pl Białystok Science and Technology Park bpnt.bialystok.pl/konferencjatriple-helix/ Biebrza National Park www.biebrza.org.pl Bojary www.facebook.com/Bojary Borderlands of Arts, Cultures and Nations www.pogranicze.sejny.pl Branicki Palace www.ogrodbranickich.bialystok. pl

Glendoria www.glendoria.pl Kortowo www.kortowo.pl

Dwie Zmiany social cooperative www.facebook.com/ dwiezmiany

Kwaśne Jabłko www.kwasnejablko.pl

Emigration Museum www.muzeumemigracji.pl

Mediateka www.planeta11.pl

European Solidarity Centre www.ecs.gda.pl

Planetarium www.planetarium.olsztyn.pl

Forest Opera operalesna.sopot.pl

Przystań www.przystanolsztyn.pl

Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre www.teatrszekspirowski.pl

Revita Warmia fundacjarevitawarmia.org

Websites Globaltica World Cultures Festival www.globaltica.pl Open'er Festival www.opener.pl Kayak rentals www.kajakiempogdansku.pl Ladies’ Jazz Festival www.ladiesjazz.pl National Museum in Gdańsk www.mhmg.gda.pl Serio restaurant www.facebook.com/serio. gdynia Wyspa art institute www.wyspa.art.pl

Szczecin Bonds of Culture Festival www.kana.art.pl/fest_spoiwa_eng.html Castle of the dukes of Pomerania zamek.szczecin.pl/?lang=en Kontrapunkt Small Theatre Forms Festival www.kontrapunkt.pl National Museum in Szczecin muzeum.szczecin.pl Piwnica Kany music club kana.art.pl/onas_piwnica.html Stojaki cafe stojaki.szczecin.pl Szczecin Philharmonic filharmonia.szczecin.pl Szczecin Street Art Festival www.facebook.com/ szczecinstreetartfestival Wolin island www.wolin.com.pl

Poznań Brisman www.brisman.pl Cafe La Ruina www.facebook.com/pages/ Cafe-La-Ruina Ichot www.bramapoznania.pl Kwiaty i Miut www.kwiatyimiut.pl Lodziarnia www.facebook.com/ wytwornialodowtradycyjnych/ timeline Modra Kuchnia www.facebook.com/ ModraKuchnia/ Piece of Cake www.facebook.com/PIECEof-CAKE Pod Czarnym Kotem www.facebook.com/ poznanpodczarnymkotem Pracownia GODny www.facebook.com/ PracowniaGODny Taczaka 20 www.facebook.com/ TACZAKA20 Wypas www.wegewypas.pl Yeżyce-Kuchnia yezycekuchnia.pl

Wrocław Brave Festival 2015.bravefestival.pl Das Lokal music club daslokal.pl Hey Joe Thanks Jimi Festival www.heyjoe.pl

The International Festival of Crime Fiction wroclaw2016.pl/theinternational-festival-of-crimefiction Sępolno www.sepolno.wroclaw.pl T-mobile New Horizons Film Festival www.nowehoryzonty.pl Tajne Komplety bookstor tajnekomplety.osdw.pl Tiff Festival tiff.wroc.pl Toy Museum www.muzeum-zabawek.pl Wratislavia Cantas Festival 2015.wratislaviacantans.pl Wuwa www.wuwa.eu


Editorial team Elżbieta Petruk, Bogna Świątkowska / Bęc Zmiana New Culture Foundation / www.beczmiana.pl Tomek Bersz, Sylwia Chutnik, Justyna Kosmala, Katarzyna Nowakowska , Magdalena ­Roszkowska, Anna Sańczuk

Warsaw / Warszawa 2017 Third edition ISBN 978-83-63743-83-3 Published by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Poland

Texts Rafał Bryndal, Sylwia Chutnik, Anna Cymer, Sylwia ­Czubkowska, Bogdan Deptuła, Agnieszka Grzybkowska, ­Aleksander Hudzik , Piotr Kowalczyk, Agnieszka Kozak, Zbigniew Modrzewski, Agata Połajewska, Elżbieta Petruk, Magdalena Roszkowska, Aleksandra Salwa, Agnieszka Sosnowska, Fanny Vaucher, Olga Wróbel Photoeditors Agnieszka Bilska, Ewa Ciszewska, Magdalena Rzeszot, Bartosz Stefaniak Translations Kit Donisthorpe, Christopher Smith, Krzysztof Ścibiorski Proofreading

Sources for selected infographics: Anna Mikołajska , Magdalena Rabczak, Julia Sobolewska, ­Bartosz Stefaniak, Anna Stelmaszyk Central Statistical Office of Poland (stat.gov.pl), City of Bialystok (bialystok.pl), Deepwater Container Terminal Gdańsk – DCT Gdańsk (dctgdansk.pl), Department of Promotion and Tourism of the City of Kraków (krakow.pl), Dialog Foundation (wielokulturowybialystok. pl), Medialab Katowice (medialabkatowice.eu), Polish Bird Protection Society (ptop.org.pl), Polish Olympic Committee (olimpijski.pl), Provincial Centre of Culture Animation in Białystok (woak.bialystok.pl), Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) (cbos.pl), Silesian Museum in Katowice (muzeumslaskie.pl), The Living Museum of Gingerbreads in Toruń (muzeumpiernika.pl), The Port of Gdansk (portgdansk.pl), White stork museum in Kłopot (mbb-klopot.pl) Infographic design Tomek Bersz, Rafał Buchner, Hanna Dyrcz

Krzysztof Ścibiorski Book is set with fonts Graphic design and typesetting Neue Haas Unica, Skolar Tomek Bersz / berszmisiak.com with cooperation of Rafał ­Buchner and Hanna Dyrcz

Printed by Legra Sp. z o. o. www.drukarnialegra.pl 10c Albatrosów Street 30–716 Cracow