Together, let’s make the 15 the OWHC Congress in Krakow a success!

The city of Krakow and the Villa Decius Institute for Culture invite residents to participate in the Ambassadors of the OWHC Congress project!


OWHC Congress in Krakow

The 15th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) will take place in Krakow on June 2nd to 5th 2019, gathering representatives of nearly 300 cities boasting monuments inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is for the very first time that the biennial Congress will be hosted in Central Europe. Its guiding theme: Heritage and Tourism: Local communities and visitors – sharing responsibilities, significantly reflects some of our city’s current priorities and challenges. Alongside Quito, Krakow was the first urban center inscribed on the UNESCO list as early as 1978. Now, it is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, which, yet again, proves that tourism and heritage are closely correlated. However, tourism’s undirected development may also threaten the integrity of Krakow’s cultural landscape and, hence, its heritage.

Accompanying the Congress, the Villa Decius Institute for Culture has organized a series of workshops and activities involving Krakovians, proud of our city’s unique heritage, in the co-organization of the event by inviting them to participate in the OWHC World Heritage Cities Ambassadors program.


Ambassadors of the OWHC Congress

The Institute’s project Ambassadors of the OWHC Congress is tasked with selecting a group of actively INVOLVED Krakow residents who are aware of the significance of the city’s cultural heritage and committed to its traditions and uniqueness. The project participants will represent Krakow’s community during the Congress, observing its sessions and panels and engaging in the Heritage and OWHC Cities Parades at the opening on June 2nd.

The Parade will feature volunteers wearing the colors of OWHC cities , groups portraying culture and traditions of Krakow (Lajkonik with a retinue, Bractwo Kurkowe, Cracovia Danza Court Ballet, reconstruction groups), as well as musical and artistic performances (jugglers, acrobats, stilt walkers). The parade will set out from the Barbican, cross the Gate and Floriańska Street and circle the Main Square to officially start of the opening ceremony.

The colorful show will promote the diversity of Krakow’s culture and the richness of its artistic offer, at the same time emphasizing that the inhabitants of Krakow constitute a true link between century-old traditions and the present moment. The project is aimed at promoting Krakow as a world heritage city, at the same time encouraging integration of the organization of cities representing 5 continents. The Parade, an integral part of this year’s Krakow Days, will immerse its participants in a joyful expression of local traditions, involving them in the city’s efforts to promote the intangible heritage of the city.



Our invitation is addressed to all cultural institutions, CAS units, schools and all those who want to find out more about the international Congress of OWHC Cities, UNESCO and the culture of Krakow!

You are all invited!

Organizational details coming soon!

Project participants will take part in thematic workshops and in the opening ceremony, including the Heritage and OWHC Cities Parade. They will also receive an information pack and a participant’s diploma. The most actively engaged will participate in the Congress and the accompanying events. The Ambassadors of World Heritage Cities will additionally benefit from other cultural programs of the city and will be invited to continue their work within the project in the future.

If you or your organization are interested in joining in, please contact Hanna Wesołowska-Starzec, PhD at:, 601 053 501.