Pijarska Street


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Pijarska Street, which used to run along the city defences, is one of few preserved intramural wall streets in Kraków. Its name, coined late in the 19th century, is connected to the Baroque Church and Monastery of the Piarist Order situated at the mouth of św. Jana Street. Apart from the sacred architecture, the most important heritage sites by the street are the Czartoryski Mansion, which, together with the Municipal Arsenal, was used for the Princes Czartoryski Museum, and the Francuski (French) Hotel, which in 1911–12 replaced a 15th-century townhouse with an inn and a brewery.

This is where the famous scene of the theft of Lady with an Ermine painted by Leonardo da Vinci takes place in the crime comedy Vinci (directed by Juliusz Machulski). One day, two rogues Szerszeń and Cuma (magnificent performance by Borys Szyc and Robert Więckiewicz) decide to steal the famous masterpiece. The car used to transport the painting back from a tour of Japan sinks into an antediluvian sewer in front of the French Hotel, and the two thieves are already waiting there below…

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