Legends, magic and mystery of medieval Kraków on Google Arts & Culture
Kraków-Wow is the first Polish city collection now available to Internet users around the world. Google Arts & Culture, in cooperation with 13 Kraków cultural institutions, presents a new collection available online. The Kraków-Wow project is a virtual journey through the Polish capital of kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The collection features more than 50 exhibitions and displays 2,000 artifacts, including young Sigismund Augustus' armor in 3D. Thanks to Street View, Internet users will go on a virtual tour of the Wieliczka salt mine, the Princes Czartoryski Museum, the royal private apartments at the Wawel Royal Castle or the Dragon's Den. You'll also enjoy the unique atmosphere of a city that rarely goes to sleep and bustles with cultural life all year round.
Kraków is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world every year. The famous capital of culture hides many traditions, legends and medieval secrets. Kraków-Wow is the first Polish collection on Google Arts & Culture and the tenth in the world entirely dedicated to a city. Internet users can now experience the charms of the capital of Malopolska, alongside collections depicting such metropolises as Parma, Atlanta, Rio and Dubai.
The project is a multi-threaded story that takes us on a journey through the streets of Kraków and introduces us to the cultural context of the city. Kraków-Wow shows unique places, buildings, works of art, festivals, as well as portraits of famous Kraków artists, including the local bohemian community gathered around the Cellar under the Rams and the Juliusz Słowacki Theater. The exhibitions also capture details of past daily life, from customs, costumes and handicrafts to toys, dances and myths and legends.
Iconic sites and works of art
The Main Square is one of the most spectacular and largest medieval town squares in Europe. It is the place where the St. Mary's trumpet call sounds every day, and where you can meet Kraków's artistic community in one of Edward Dwurnik's paintings. With one click, you can move to the Wawel Royal Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, thanks to new Street View images, Internet users can take a tour of Wawel Hill, walk through the royal state rooms and even descend into the Dragon's Den. The castle also showcases its treasures: the armor of the young King Sigismund Augustus in 3D, a clock by Toruń clockmaker Lorenz Wolbrecht, works by Leon Wyczółkowski or 16th-century tapestries.
While in Kraków, don't miss a trip to the salt mines, which were used for about 800 years! During the virtual tour, you can see old mining machinery, large chambers and salt cellars - tiny masterpieces from the precious and diverse collection of the Cracow Saltworks Museum in Wieliczka.
There are also valuable exhibits from the collection of the National Museum in Kraków, including high-resolution photographs of such works as Lady with an Ermine, Olga Boznańska's Girl with Chrysanthemums and self-portrait. The curtain adorning the auditorium of the Juliusz Słowacki Theater in Kraków, by Polish historical painter Henryk Siemiradzki, can also be an amazing treat.
- I am extremely pleased that from now on the vast heritage of Kraków will be at the fingertips of all Internet users. I am proud that so many Kraków institutions have been involved in the preparation of this collection - it is a showcase of the city and a testimony to its inexhaustible potential. I invite everyone to visit Kraków to experience its uniqueness in person, said Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Kraków.
Legends and traditions
118 flower motifs - and each one is different. This is part of the extraordinary story of the Kraków countryside, which allows Internet users to take a look behind the scenes of the oldest exhibition at the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. Equally unique are the collections of toys, including those designed by prominent art déco artist Zofia Stryjeńska.
Kraków's unusual atmosphere is also created by legends. In the chronicles of Wincenty Kadlubek one can read about a cruel, voracious and harsh monster in the crevices of a certain rock. The dragon is also known from other incarnations: Stanisław Pagaczewski made him the hero of the 1965 iconic book Porwanie Baltazara Gąbki (Abduction of Balthazar Sponge), and Tomasz Bagiński depicted him in the short film "Dragon", created as part of the "Polish Legends - Allegro" series. In the collection, Internet users will also see a parade and decipher the costume of Lajkonik and the legend of Mr. Twardowski, performed in one of Kraków's landmarks - the mysterious Barbican.
Kraków, when night falls
The city of kings rarely sleeps! Once considered the most futuristic building in Kraków, the Hotel Forum is now an empty shell and serves as a bustling attraction on the banks of the Vistula River. Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, attracts a number of bars and art cafes. Cracovians and tourists can spend their evenings at a variety of festivals and events. For futurism lovers, for example, there is the Megabit Bomb Festival, dedicated to Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem.
The lively spirit of Poland's medieval pearl is still present, and the city's artistic and cultural scene continues to flourish. Now anyone, anywhere can experience Krakow by visiting the Kraków-Wow exhibition on the Google Arts & Culture website or by downloading the app for Android or iOS.
The Kraków-Wow collection was created in collaboration with the following 13 partners: National Museum in Kraków, Wawel Royal Castle, Cracovia Danza Ballet, Center for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor - CRICOTEKA, KBF - Krakow Festival Office, Cracow Saltworks Museum in Wieliczka, Nowa Huta Cultural Center, Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, Małopolski Institute of Culture in Kraków, ICE Krakow Congress Center, International Cultural Center, Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków and Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art.