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Krakow has a literary tradition unlike any other city in Poland. Many of the most important Polish writers were and continue to be connected to the city (as is the case with Joseph Conrad). The city is also home to a number of quaint book stores that attest to the role literature plays here — one in the Market Square is said to be the oldest in Europe! Learn more about Krakow’s strong connection to literature with this lettered tour of the historic town…
Organized every two years, the Miłosz Festival is the largest celebration of poetry in central Europe. The festival hosts some of the most important people in literature from around the world. Events during this four-day celebration of literature range from concerts and exhibitions to panel discussions and poetry evenings. There are even translators on site in what seems like every language imaginable. In all, the Miłosz Festival is a testament to the significance of poetry on Krakow’s cultural landscape.
The Gothic style St. Mary’s Basilica is one of the largest and most important churches in Krakow. It is known for its massive late-Gothic altarpiece, a work completed by sculptor Veit Stoss that measures an impressive 11 meters by 13 meters. But St. Mary’s is also known as a literary hotspot in Krakow thanks to playwright, poet and Polish nationalist Stanisław Wyspiański. In his 1901 play ‘The Wedding’, St. Mary’s Basilica served as the backdrop of the marriage between a poet and a peasant girl.