Kraków Nativity Scene Contest Exhibition

Monday, December 5, 2016 - Sunday, February 26, 2017

  • Monday, December 5, 2016 - Sunday, February 26, 2017
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The exhibition at the Krzysztofory Palace presents all the works submitted to the 74th Kraków Nativity Scene Contest.

On Thursday 1 December, participants in the 74th Kraków Nativity Scene Contest gathered at 10am at the Adam Mickiewicz statue to present intricate, dazzling constructions inspired by Cracovian architecture. After the midday hejnał bugle call, the colourful pageant strolled to the Krzysztofory Palace where the jury assessed their works in a range of categories including age of artist and size. Points are awarded depending on references to tradition, as well as innovation, colours, architecture and figurines, and of course the overall impression.

On Sunday 4 December, the director of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków, organiser of the competition, announced the winners and opened the post-contest exhibition. The presentation is accompanied by nativities performed by one of the best known families in the field: the Malik family from Zwierzyniec (18 and 26 December 2016, 7 and 15 January 2017, godz. 16.00).

The beautiful tradition, dating back to the 19th century, has been passed down generations and the nativity scene pageant goes on!

The Krzysztofory Palace

Rynek Główny 35

Here you can see how Kraków has changed over the centuries, and in winter also marvel at the fabulously colourful Kraków nativity scenes.

The impressive historical mansion (called “palace”) standing on the corner of the Main Market Square is the main seat of the Museum of the History of the City of Kraków, which boasts several other branches. One of its highlights is the beautiful arcaded loggia of the courtyard, while the stately interiors have retained baroque stuccowork from the 18th century, and 18th-and 19th-century murals. Legend has it that the cellars and dungeons of the mansion reach as far as below St Mary’s Church, and the premises are likewise said to have housed a secret alchemist’s laboratory. Some say that even today you can meet a devil here who assumes the guise of a rooster to tempt rogues into his underground realm with a promise of discovering treasure… The Cyberteka is a permanent exhibition in the mansion, and it uses digital visualisations and mock-ups to show how Kraków expanded and developed from the days before its Great City Charter of 1257 to 1909–15, when the city suddenly expanded its bounds by incorporating neighbouring communes. After that trip into the depths of history, we will take a different look at the Main Market Square, spreading its vast expanse on the other side of the windows, but also at the city centre, and the districts of Kleparz and Kazimierz. Also held in the mansion are temporary exhibitions. Every December, the museum organises a competition on the Main Market Square of the famous Kraków nativity scenes. These are based on city’s most iconic architectural heritage, whether entire edifices or just details, on the Main Market Square. Later, the post-competition presentation of these fabulously colourful miniature wonders of architecture can be admired at the Krzysztofory.

Tickets: normal PLN 12, concessions PLN 8, family PLN 24, admission free on Tuesday

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