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Kraków celebrates 45th anniversary of inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List

To mark the 45th anniversary of the inscription of Kraków's historical centre on the UNESCO World Heritage List a plaque commemorating the historic entry has been placed in a representative location on the former Royal Route, between the Florian Gate and the Barbican. The plaque is intended to complement the marking of Kraków's inscription on the list.

Inscription of Kraków on the World Heritage List - history

In September 1978, during its first meeting, the World Heritage Committee decided to enter the historic centre of Kraków on the list of sites of special significance for world heritage. Kraków, together with the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine, was one of the first 12 places to reach this highly regarded list. What is important and precedent-setting is the entire urban complex including Wawel Castle, the Old Town, the former suburb of Stradom and the royal town of Kazimierz were listed, rather than individual objects.

The entry was the culmination of many years of efforts by the circle of Polish conservators, seeking the attention of Polish and world public opinion for the monuments of Kraków deteriorating as a result of the policy of the then authorities. The decision made 45 years ago set in motion extraordinary social energy and laid the foundations for the programmes of revalorisation of historic buildings that still exist today. The city has changed beyond recognition in that time.

Plaque under the Barbican

The site for the plaque commemorating the entry was not chosen by accident. The area between the Barbican and Floriańska Gate is the main, representative entrance to the Old Town and an important stop on the historic Royal Route connecting Kleparz with Wawel. The plaque will further emphasise the importance for Kraków of being on the world-famous list.

The plaque was prepared by the Department of Culture and National Heritage in collaboration with the Public Transport Authority. It is part of the City Information System being implemented in the city.

Anniversary celebrations

Kraków has been celebrating the 45th anniversary of its entry since the beginning of the year. New signs welcoming visitors to the World Heritage City have been placed at the roads leading to the city, a Kraków Heritage website presenting the city's heritage phenomena in a comprehensive manner has been launched, and a cross-sectional exhibition entitled "Treasures of Kraków", prepared in collaboration with the International Cultural Centre, can be seen in various squares of the city (currently the Podgórski Square).

The celebrations will culminate on 7 and 8 September, with a ceremonial session of the City Council and the opening of an exhibition on the SKOZK [Social Committee for the Restoration of Kraków Monuments] at the Kraków Museum among the events planned.

World Heritage Emblem

The World Heritage Emblem was adopted in 1978 as the official mark of the UNESCO Convention concerning the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Its author is Belgian artist Michel Olyff. The emblem symbolises the interdependence of cultural and natural diversity. The central square, as a man-made form, represents culture and the surrounding circle represents nature, with the two figures interrelated. The emblem also alludes to the universal values referred to in the Convention.