Kazimierz district in Cracow is well-known for its jewish history. Now it is about to get a step forward. Between ul. Dietla and Podbrzezie, next to the Temple synagogue with the Jewish Community Center, a 4-star hotel is about to open. It wouldn’t be unusual, if not for the fact that is going to be completely kosher!

The opening is planned for autumn next year. Hotel will have 117 rooms, a kosher kitchen and a mikveh (used for ritual washing of the body).  The hotel will be on a standard of 4 stars. The height of the building was adapted to the surroundings.

The investment includes reconstruction of the tenement house at ul. Dietla 59 and the creation of a new building with an underground garage for 25 parking spots at ul. Podbrzezie 4. The new hotel will have a historical façade with numerous decorations and a characteristic balcony.  The hotel will have a courtyard, a conference and banquet area with a total area of nearly 500 m2.

Only kosher meals will be served at the restaurant in the hotel. The kitchen won’t use pork or any non-kosher products. In the restaurant there should be separate cutlery sets for the meat and milk meals, because in the kosher kitchen these dishes can’t be mixed. Orthodox Jews do not eat meat after eating milk for six hours.

The Royal Castle has always been an important symbol of Poland. Today, the former residence of rulers and kings of Poland is one of the most recognizable monuments of the city.

The culmination of his many years of reconstruction is the opening of the castle gardens. The restoration project for the lower gardens started in 2017. Archaeological, construction and gardening works were carried out thanks to co-financing from the EU and the Ministry of Culture. The garden is now more beautiful than ever.

            The arrangement of the Lower Garden lasted 482 days. It started on September 6, 2017, ended December 28, 2018. In this short time, the unused 1,9-hectare space in the foreground of the Royal Castle, between Arkady Kubicki and busy Wisłostrada, has changed beyond recognition. A modernist garden was created here with a lawn deep in the ground, a granite terrace with fountains, a system of paths, decorative vases, flowerbeds, rows of trimmed bushes and trees, and a complex technical infrastructure hidden in the ground.

For the first time in its history, the Royal Castle in Warsaw has fully decorated gardens. Their finished lower level was waiting for it over 200 years, from the time of Stanisław August Poniatowski. The grand opening has taken place last Saturday – 11thMay.

You can Visit Poland to see the garden or just click the link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-rg4uMD2ZM

Let’s talk about something super delicious and one of the reason to visit Cracow! – Obwarzanek Krakowski.

Braided ring-shaped bread that is boiled and sprinkled with salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, etc., before being baked. It has a white, sweetish, moist and chewy crumb underneath a crunchy golden-brown crust. You can get it nearly at every street cart in Cracow streets. It has the status of a regional food with protected geographical indication by European Union.

Now the best part of it all – this year will be the first festival of Obwarzanek ever! On the 26th and 27th of May at Szczepański Square and Planty – masters of pastries from Krakow and the surrounding area will present their products. The date of the event is not accidental – it refers to the privileges granted by Jan Olbracht on May 26, 1496, under which the bagels could be baked and sold only by the Cracovian bakers.

Each visitor will be able to try an obwarzanek – both sauté or with traditional additions of poppy, salt and cheese, as well as in the form of culinary variations created by the best restaurateurs. Local restaurants will start in the competition for the best variation from obwarzanek. At the stands, you will be able to taste various of other specialties from the region. Beside eating, everyone will enjoy a Street Theater performance and many other artistic events, workshops on drawing, preparing obwarzanek from salt mass or baking laboratory.

Krakow was chosen the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture 2019. The advantage of Krakow’s cuisine is its diversity, gastronomic tradition is derived from many cultures. It’s not only one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, with a great history, but also a magnificent place to eat.

In June last year, the European Gastronomic Academy unanimously decided that Krakow will be the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture 2019. In the strict finale of efforts for this title, the capital of Lesser Poland defeated even Lisbon.

Picture source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/jewish-polish-krakover-bagels-recipe-1135425 (btw, you can find a recipe how to make a real Obwarzanek here)

Street art in Poland is growing rapidly and the design and concept is definitely world-class. It is not only a way of expressing yourself, but also a form of freedom, tribute and message, which can be seen and understood by everyone. It has become one of the most popular trends in contemporary art.

In Poland there are being festivals organized in every major city, galleries and auction houses exhibit works of street artists, dozens of murals are created, publications are published, debates, workshops and lectures are held. It is a trendy issue already for several years. We have selected just a few of them, there are many more!

  1. Etam Cru – Mateusz Gapski and Przemek Blejzyk, both are graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in the department of Graphics and Painting in Łódź, so as you can see they are highly educated in the area that they create. They are the most known duo in polish street art, thanks to years of work and studies together, they created a unique and recognizable style. They started in Bydgoszcz, now you can admire their paintings in Olsztyn, Łódź and Warsaw. Over time, they began to spread their talent abroad – Bulgaria, Germany, Russia, Portugal and the USA.
  1. M-city– his real name is Mariusz Waras, and he is also very close to the university life. He graduated from the Graphic Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk an currently he works as the assistant to one of the professors at the faculty of painting. His style is based on working with templates. M-city works are very well-known world-wide and his work was featured at the opening of Urban Nation Museum in 2017.
  1. Sepe – Michał Wręga. Since 1996, he has been associated with graffiti art and the Polish street art scene. He currently lives and works in Warsaw as a graphic artist, painter and illustrator. His works can be seen on walls in such cities as: Munich, Oslo, Prague, Berlin, Lille, Lucerne, Warsaw, Gdańsk, Łódź, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz, Szczecin, Katowice.
  1. Natalia Rak – finally a girl in the business. She has started her adventure with art long before she graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. She grew up in a small village and out of boredom started to create. Now she is one of the most known street artist in Poland, her hallmark are very bright colors.
  1. Chazme – Daniel Kaliński currently living and working in Warsaw was born in Switzerland. He is a graduate of Faculty of Architecture on the University of Warsaw. His art is very architectonic and full of straight shapes. He sometimes cooperates with Sepe. Their styles are really opposite, but that is just what makes it unique and breathtaking.
  1. Pener started working in the street art surrounding already in the middle of the 90s. He focuses on the shape, frame and mixing various materials. His artistic achievements contain paintings, walls and animations. His style can be defined as large format abstractionism.

While talking about polish street art, we have to let you know about the new amazing works than we can now admire in the streets of polish cities. First of all the giant mural that has been created this September in Częstochowa. It is a marvelous outcome from a very fascinating duo cooperation – Stefan Rybicki is a local watchmaker and originator of the whole idea and Tomasz Sętowski is an artist known not only in his city. The unveiling ceremony of the mural, which is called “Guardian of Time”, was at the same time the opening of the 15th Cultural Night in Częstochowa. Another amazing, artistic initiative have been created in Warsaw as a tribute to Kora – a great singer who died of cancer last year. What is so unique? It changes every season. The “hair” of the singer makes it special, the author of the mural presented it as a crown made of branches. The rest of her hair consists of the branches of a real tree growing next to it – now, during spring, she has a beautiful green “haircut”.

 

Picture source: https://www.etamcru.com/etam/madamme-chicken

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is a Prize organized by the European Union and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, “to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe’.

The Prize was created in 1987 as a partnership between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. Competition is open to all the works completed in Europe within the two-year period before the granting of the Prize.

383 projects from 38 countries – this is a list of the nominees for the Mies van der Rohe European award 2019. This year, 18 objects from Poland were fighting for the main prize.  All the projects nominated this year are pretty amazing, but we have chosen our favorites. They are not only beautiful in the way they are designed and built, but they are very functional.

You can for example send your kids to this super modern school which looks like straight from Hollywood films. Akademeia High School in Warsaw, designed by Medusa Group is a one of a kind studying area in Poland. It focuses on educating young people in order to help them achieve the highest qualifications and get into the best universities in the world.

“By the way House” is the second of our top favorites. Designed by KWK Promes studio, located in central Poland on a beautiful, huge field above the river bank. The owner’s wish was not only to make the best use of the existing landscape conditions, but also to move the interior from the current apartment. The owners wanted mainly to have a private and intimate leaving area, so the house is in the center of the plot, and the living area is on the first floor.

Building of the District Court in Siedlce is a mix of the seriousness and calmness of ancient buildings. Thanks to the restrained form the building looks enormously majestic. In the interior, architects contrasted architectural concrete with transparent glass details. The harmony effect was obtained by combining empty spaces filled with light and full, simple forms.

Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk is built on a lot at Władysław Bartoszewski Square near the center of the city. It is located in a symbolic architectural space, 200 metres from the historic Polish Post Office in Gdańsk and 3 kilometers across the water from Westerplatte Peninsula, both of which were attacked in September 1939.

NAWA – the sculpture of Oskar Zięta on the Daliowa Island in Wrocław is a part of the events related with the celebration of the European Capital of Culture. It refers to the main slogan – “metamorphosis of culture”. Its form is an artistic interpretation of the constant transformation of the city. NAWA is an ultra-light, but solid construction consisting of 35 steel arches forming a gate through which you can walk.

The lucky nominees were 18 objects, but we have chosen (subjectively) 5 of them. Polish architects and architecture companies grow rapidly showing that our country represent the world level.

 

picture source: EUMiesAward website

In Poland there are almost 420 castles, and although most of them are ruined, there are several dozen which look like in an old fairy tale. Maybe Walt Disney was inspired by the German Neuschwanstein castle, but we can promise you that the polish ones are as adorable as the ones abroad, or even more!

They show us an amazing architecture variety, you can find among them medieval fortresses, elegant residences, but also fancy buildings from a fairy tale or legend. Throughout centuries, they have inspired artists and played a big role in cinematography. Their beauty and history still fascinates thousands of people all around the world. The historical castles and rich cultural heritage of our country are today reminiscent of fortified castles and representative palaces.

  1. Malbork Castle

Sightseeing of this monumental building will keep you busy for at least few hours. The whole area is over 20 ha, there are actually three castles (High, Medium and Low), and over 4.5 million bricks were used to build them.  From 1309, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order resided there and as it can be seen he could enjoy a lot of luxury as for his times. He had, among others underfloor heating or a secluded toilet.  You can go back in time, thanks to their numerous of historical reconstructions.

  1. Castle in Moszna

It looks totally like from a Disney fairytale! Combination of 3 architecture styles, 99 towers, a beautiful large pond and rooms for every day of the year (365!). It is located only 35 kilometers from Opole and it has used to be the residence of the Silesian family Tiele-Winckler. Not only the building is worth visiting, but also the enormous park – about 200 hectare(!). The castle has been extended with an additional wing just before the World War I. For many years it has been used by the Center for Neurotic Therapy. It doesn’t sound unusual, because there is no better place to relax and get in great mood.

  1. Czocha Castle

This castle is known from many films, series and even music videos. This place looks like it has been created specially for spectacular shots – with a moat, thick walls, a photogenic courtyard and a huge tower. It has also very mysterious history.  It was created in the mid-13th century by the order of the Czech King Wenceslaus I and for the next centuries he witnessed numerous sieges, bloody counts and macabre crimes. But through the World War II it had also been a very difficult period at the castle. Nazi created there a laboratory where they have carried out various experiments with new types of weapons.

  1. Książ Castle

It is the third largest – and, according to many people, the most beautiful castle complex in Poland. Built at the end of the 13th century by the Silesian Piasts and repeatedly rebuilt in subsequent centuries, the place is stunning with stylistic diversity. During the last war, one of the secret quarters of Adolf Hitler was located here, and priceless treasures were stored in underground labyrinths, including collections of the Berlin State Library. It is famous for the unearthly beauty of the duchess Maria Teresa Hochberg von Pless, who is affectionately called Daisy. She was the wife of the last owner of the Duke’s estates. She hosted many famous guests, such as: Winston Churchill (privately her nephew), Emperor Franz Joseph, and even Indian Maharaja.

  1. Dunajec Castle in Niedzica

The history of this place is full of mystery. After World War II in the castle has been found a suspicious document written in the ancient script called “kipu”.  It was supposed to be a kind of leading map to a hidden place with treasure left here by the descendants of the Inca ruler, Tupac Amaru II. Why did the Indians from Machu Picchu decide to go all the way here? Well, Tupac’s nephew – and the only rightful heir to the Andean empire – married the daughter of a Hungarian aristocrat, whose family was then owned by the Niedzica fortress. The treasures were found to this day, so maybe you will be the lucky one?

Poland is with no doubt beautiful and unique, but there are some places, you would never guess, that they are in our country.

In Poland, we have our Provence and Tuscany – they look like their foreign counterparts or even better, but we have also our desert, canyons and rock cities. Some of them still remain unknown and not touristic.

Although we have in Poland villages like Venice (Wenecja) or districts like Italy (Włochy) they don’t bring to mind Italian views. However there is a wonderful place called Polish Tuscany – White Water Reserve in Pieniny. It is composed of amazing hills covered with intensively green grass. It is an ideal place for cycling trips and trekking.

Lavender fields are not only in Provence, we also have them in Poland. This beautifully blooming flowers create wonderful romantic landscapes in the Małopolska fields. Lavender blooms most beautifully from mid-June to mid-July. It is not the only place where you can find lavender in Poland, but the fields of Ostrów in Lesser Poland are the most spectacular.

Bruges, Venice and Amsterdam are known around the world thanks to the spectacular canals. But if you are tired of crowds and tourists just visit Opole or Bydgoszcz! When you compare this cities, they look equally magnificent and magical as their foreign equivalents.

We have also a desert in Poland and it is unique on a European scale. The small Błędowska Desert has been a star in a lot of films and the Słowiński National Park was entered on the UNESCO list to the Biosphere Reserves network. The moving dunes, lakes, swamps, meadows, forests and peat bogs make an amazing impression worth seeing at least once in a lifetime.

You will maybe not mistake them with Colorado or Antelope, but rocks in the Stołowe Mountains in Lower Silesia can successfully play the role of canyons. They are in no way worse than their American counterparts – they are just different.

The castle in Moszna is one of the most interesting attraction in the Opole region. Currently, it houses a hotel and restaurant, and interiors are available open for visitors. It has 99 towers and turrets, which makes it look like from a fairy tale. You can sightsee the castles of the Loire in France, but why go so far if you can just visit the Polish ones.

            If you want to travel back in time to ancient Rome, village Stańczyki in the Romnicka Forest is something exactly for you. These viaducts don’t look like any typical bridge. Pillars of viaducts in Stańczyki are decorated with elements that were inspired with the most famous ancient aqueducts Pont du Grad. That is why they are often called “aqueducts of the north”.

            Desert, viaducts, canyons, lavender fields? You don’t have to visit 10 countries, just come to Poland which has it all. Far away from the crowds of tourists and high prices – discover the beauty of small villages and masterpieces created by nature.

Learning can be very exciting and nowadays more and more children and young people start to understand it. In Poland through these past few years many unique science centers and labs were built, which bring science to life.

They convince us that anyone can understand physics or become a scientist.  It encourages people to shape their own mind by critical and creative thinking. In these centers, whether you are old or young, you are being inspired to observe, experiment and be curious. It’s a great place for an all day family activity, there are permanent exhibitions as well as temporary.

Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, beside lots of great attractions, has also a mesmerizing planetarium, where you can take part in a marvelous “performance”. This center is located right next to the Vistula river and within a walking distance to the University Library and Old Town. It’s not a museum, it’s a space where you decide how much will you advantage from this visit. If you are thinking about a fun date idea, Copernicus Center is there for you – “Evenings for adults” are organized on Thursdays once a month and each evening is special and unique. Beside this, they organize lots of special projects, like science shows, picnics or meeting with scientist.

While talking about Planterium, the place to be is definitely Toruń. They opened already in 1994 and it is very popular among school groups, families and tourist. It is located in a historical tank of the old municipal gasworks in the Old Town. The Planetarium offers astronomical shows in the screening room under the dome and two interactive exhibitions: MARS#17 Base – a new interactive and multimedia area that resembles a futuristic space laboratory on Mars and Geodium, an exhibition dedicated to Earth. They tell about the size and construction of the Universe, stars, constellations, and planets of the Solar System as well as about the history of astronomic discoveries. It is also worth mentioning that Toruń is the home town of Copernicus, so there is actually no better place to learn something about the universe.

Hydropolis in Wrocław, takes us into the world of completely different science – it’s a knowledge center about water. It is which focused on one major issue – show water from various fascinating perspectives. The center was opened in the end of 2015 and it is the only facility of this kind in Poland. It is located in a historic, 19th century underground pure water tank covering a floor area of 4,000 m². While speaking in number it is important to mention that there are 9 zones of exhibition, 6 films in their cinema rooms. They have been visited already by 720000 visitors and Hydropolis won 10 awards and prizes. There are various interesting workshops dedicated specially for groups from kindergarten until high schools, so no one gets bored.

We have mentioned only 3 of dozen Science Centers in whole Poland. It is a great idea for literally everyone regardless age or nationality. You will be surprised how fun it can be to get to know more about science, just visit Poland and find out!

picture source: Centrum Nauki Kopernik / Facebook

After years of efforts the Canadian authorities handed over to Poland the Douglas DC-3 Dakota “Spirit of Ostra Brama”.

Until now, the plane was in a military base in Winnipeg, Canada. On 8thMarch it was given to the Polish embassy in Ottawa and later transported to Poland. The famous DC-3 was manufactured in Oklahoma City in 1943. In January 1944 it was transferred to the British Royal Air Force and a few months later a Polish crew flew under the command of Capitain Józef Tyszka. After this flight, the machine had received the name “Spirit of Ostra Brama”. Later it was used to transport the Polish commander-in-chief of the armed forced in the West – General Kazimierz Sosnkowski.

After the war, the plane belonged to the next units in the RAF bases, but in 1946 it was sold to the Canadian airlines and converted to into a classic passenger plane.  Almost 50 years ago it was removed from the aircraft register and used only as a source of spare parts. Later it became the property of an air museum. Only in 2002, the history of the air craft was discovered and handed over to the 17thRoyal Wing of the Canadian Air Force in Winnipeg. In 2016 the plane was partially painted by local volunteers. On the basis of photos from World War II, they used the name “Spirit of Ostra Brama”.

Now, finally, thanks to the work and involvement of enthusiasts, volunteers and embassies, we will be able to admire it in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw.

 

source of the picture – PLinCanada / Twitter

6 reasons why Poland is the best place to organize conferences

The conference market has an enormous potential. If you are thinking whether to organize such an event or not, here are some conclusions why you should not hesitate.

           1 First of all, there are no crises in the conference industry. In the last few years Poland is being placed higher and higher in the rankings of event destinations, due to the rapid development in categories like communication (domestic and international), which are important for the organizations of conferences.

           2 One of the important issues is safety, taking into account recent events in the world related to the migration crisis and the threat of terrorism, Poland is considered as a safe and calm country.

            After Euro 2012 the number of direct flights has increased significantly. It has become very easy and comfortable to visit Poland from hundreds of destinations. As we speak about the aviation market, it is worth mentioning that for example in Warsaw, the airport is located in the city, so getting to the city center or conference centers is very simple and cheap. As well as by plane, you can visit Poland by train – Moscow, Berlin or Vienna are only a few of many direct train routes.

            Another advantage of conference centers in Poland is variety. You can find a lot of conference centers in cities, but also outside the metropolises like in Mazurian Voivodeship or Bieszczady District. It is up to you and your company what location you prefer.

            Diversity is not considered only in terms of city or countryside, but also in size of the conference room itself. The divergence is enormous, you can find a space for 1915 people as well as for a group of 20, so the number of participants doesn’t have to limit you.

            Poland has a variety of conference venues with extensive technical facilities, the whole organization takes place at the highest, world-class level. It is worth pointing out that, the prices are very attractive in comparison with other European countries. This a great example of the fact that luxury and reasonable prizing can go hand in hand.

            There are plenty places in various cities which we can recommend. Warsaw can be proud of the National Stadium or Ms Mermaid (this one has a wonderful view on the Vistula  river). Kraków has the biggest conference venue in Poland for 1915 people called ICE Kraków. For meetings in the heart of the city Stary Browar in Poznań is a perfect spot. Centrum Stocznia Gdańska and Wroclaw Conference Centre are also worth recommending and if you are looking for a place a bit different – Hotel Narvil Conference & Spa is a unique place located among the forest and on the banks of the Narew River, only 40 minutes from the center of Warsaw.

            Poland conference market grows rapidly and it is becoming one of the best countries to organize such meetings in Europe.