The artistic program prepared for the 15th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities is an opportunity to come face to face with the richness of Krakovian and Central European artistic scene. It will introduce our guests to the City Festival on June 5th and Krakow Days which, held every June, are an opportunity to celebrate important local traditions, such as Bread Festival, Enthronement of the Marksmen King, Lajkonik parade or Wianki midsummer celebration. Beyond any doubt, the Congress was scheduled to take place in June for a reason.
During the Congress the city will come alive with concerts, traditional fairs, as well as dedicated events hosted in the unique interiors of the Gallery of the 19th century Polish Art in the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) or at the Wieliczka Salt Mine, as well as in Krakow’s gardens or at the Vistula embankment beneath the Wawel Castle Hill. At dusk, on June 1st, the embankment will host the annual open air show based on ancient tales of Krakow’s foundation and the city’s iconic dragon. Featuring air and water-borne animated creatures, along with music, fireworks and multimedia effects, the show will involve our guests in an important local celebration. The show will be followed by a Dragon Parade flooding the city streets on June 2nd. The colorful pageant will feature schoolchildren parading dragon figures crafted in schools, guilds and youth houses. The dragons will be kept company by artists, dancers, boisterous bands, stilt walkers and jugglers. For several hours, the all-embracing spectacle will turn every passer-by into an actor of a show whose grand finale will be held in the city’s Main Square.
For several hours, the all-embracing spectacle will turn every passer-by into an actor of a show whose grand finale will be held in the city’s Main Square.
The Congress’ opening ceremony will be inspired by multicultural music traditions and relations of Central and Eastern Europe. The programme, entitled Towards the Sources, will be open to all Krakovians and presented for the very first time in the surroundings of one of Europe’s most beautiful central squares. The two-part music journey representing unique Polish and Central European etno and world music traditions will feature a medley of traditional and contemporary arrangements performed by artists from across Europe alongside the local Sinfonietta Cracovia orchestra. The concert’s second part will be a traditional dance where the performing leading bands of the Polish etno scene will have the audience dance away spontaneously.
The following evenings will be marked with Krakow’s rich music traditions, as well as a performance by the Wieliczka Salt Mine Brass Band, who has been accompanying all major celebrations at the mine since 1830. A show blending music and theatre performance will be the highlight of the evening hosted by the ice Congress Centre. The final night will be an opportunity to enjoy improvised jazz, spontaneous street music and new arrangements of classic tunes from around the world in the magical atmosphere of Archeological Museum Gardens. There, at the foot of the Wawel Hill, in the surroundings of a living heritage site buzzing with festive spirit, Krakow will bid farewell to Congress’s guests.