Planty Garden Ring

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The demolition of the city walls, which took place at the start of the 19th century at the initiative of the Austrian government, was primarily aimed at the “beautification” and opening up of the impoverished, and at that time provincial, city of Kraków.

The demolition of the city walls, which took place at the start of the 19th century at the initiative of the Austrian government, was primarily aimed at the “beautification” and opening up of the impoverished, and at that time provincial, city of Kraków. A decision was made to replace the space previously taken by the belt of fortifications with a city garden, called Planty (1822-1830). Only a short stretch of the fortifications near the Barbican and St Florian’s Gate was preserved. Feliks Radwański Senior is believed to be the man behind the ring of gardens. In his work, he was supported by Feliks Junior. A similar role was somewhat later played in the history of the Planty by Florian Straszewski, who established and funded a foundation for their upkeep in 1830, and by his son Maurycy.

The Planty was developed in several successive stages. The section to be developed last (around 1880), was that between the Barbican and the mouth of Sławkowska street, as it had been a part of the Kleparz Market. An important feature came from the tradition of putting up monuments in the Planty. The first obelisk (1874) put up opposite the railway station commemorated Florian Straszewski. The most beautifully designed monuments seem those commemorating Lilla Weneda, Grażyna, and Bohdan Zaleski.

Later changes designed to improve order and beautify the area included the introduction of gas lamps along the avenues, and the building of the pond. From the 1890s to the second world war, a characteristic element of the Planty avenues were the wooden kiosks offering Rząca-Chmurski soda water. Around 1930, the firm put up three permanent kiosks preserved to this day: at the mouth of Szewska and Sławkowska streets, and near the Słowacki Theatre. The last of these now houses a City Information Point.

After years of neglect, work on the revival of the Planty ring began in 1988. Gradually, the design of the consecutive parts of the garden was brought back together with the stylish lamps, the fencing taken down by the invaders, and street furniture. Today, the Planty is divided into eight “gardens” stretching over a length of 4 km (2.5 miles) and covering 21 ha (52 acres). Here one can admire 40 species of trees and shrubs, including natural heritage features, such as for example the 130-year-old plane tree by ul. Wiślna.

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Date: 2012-03-28 Show ticket
News author: ANNA WAŚKOWSKA
News Publisher: Redakcja MPI
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