The 15th Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities took place in Krakow, Poland, on June 2-5, 2019. Almost 400 delegates from 133 cities and 57 countries came to Krakow.

Kraków hosted 76 presidents and mayors representing almost all continents: Africa, both Americas, Asia, Australia and Oceania and – Europe.


The Congress was attended by all for whom the issues of cultural heritage, traditions, tangible and intangible heritage of civilization are a challenge and passion – for those who fell responsibility for outstanding universal values. Congress participants brought to Krakow their specific problems and tasks, so that the discussions resulted with the exchange of experiences and know how.

The theme of the Congress: Heritage and tourism has become a platform for discussion on diagnoses, threats and, finally, challenges faced by managers of historical cities.

The content of the OWHC Congress was – as always – very rich and diverse. It was also accompanied by additional events: Journalists Workshops, Capacity Building Workshop and  Young Professionals Forum. Promotional stands of OWHC cities in the ICE Congress Centre were open not only to Congress participants, but also to the inhabitants of Krakow. The presentations of the OWHC Cities and regions were accompanied by an additional program introducing the culture and traditions of Krakow in performances by regional bands, wreath weaving, tissue-paper art – flowers and ornamentation; Lemko jewelry making show and glass painting, as well as lace making workshops. The printing house presented the art of old print and woodcuts and the “KRAKOWIACY” Song and Dance Ensemble in beautiful Krakow costumes introduces to the world of Polish national music and dances.

The Congress came to an end and the delegates returned to their cities.  We do hope that apart from the joy of a wonderful international meeting, knowledge and experiences of other historical cities and experts, we all gained friends and partners, and Krakow has new ambassadors all over the world.

The complete selection of photos of the 15th OWHC Congress is available on: