Venues

Łódź

Łódź is a unique city, established in the Middle Ages and granted by city rights in 1423. It has an entirely different history than other Polish cities. Before the industrial revolution, it was a very small town, but from the XIXth century, it boomed demographically and spatially thanks to the textile industry. The scale of the population growth of the city can be compared to such cities like Chicago. Łódź, thanks to its industrial history, is also known as a “Polish Manchester”. It has not been destroyed during the WW II, so original urban plan and industrial architecture, housing estates and factory owner’s city villas are well preserved. One of the old factory-residential-housing estate complexes in the city was planned to put on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

At present, Łódź is a dynamically growing, third biggest Polish city, located in a very heart of the country. After facing problems with textile industry collapse, during the political transformation in Poland in the 90s, it started a new era of development. At present, it is a well known academic centre and home for creative industry clusters. As the latest stage of revitalization in the city, Łódź prepares to Horticulture Expo 2024 Nature of the City, granted to Łódź last year and other revitalization plans currently underway: Miasto 360, Mia-100 Kamienic.

Kraków

Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the town dates back to the VIIth century. Krakow was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland’s second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Central Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Krakow reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of about 770,000, with approximately 8 million additional people living within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of its main square.

In 1978, UNESCO approved the first ever sites for its new World Heritage List, including the entire Old Town in inscribing Krakow’s Historic Centre. Krakow is classified as a global city with the ranking of high sufficiency by GaWC. Its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula, the St. Mary’s Basilica, Saints Peter and Paul Church and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny. Krakow is home to Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world and traditionally Poland’s most reputable institution of higher learning.