Another day in Kraków in July 2017. Today the weather is sweltering. Fortunately I have bought a linen summer dress at the Rynek that I am now wearing.
It is so hot and humid that it is a great day for museums. After some shopping, I visit two of them, and in between I meet more friends, for lunch and for an aperitif in the evening.
The bookshop in Ulica Bracka with the great childrens books
Not far from my hotel Wawel in Poselska I get stuck in a cute bookshop in Ulica Bracka. It is called “De Revolutionibus”. They serve coffee and cake and have many nice books for children. I particularly like the book about cats and dogs. Look, how dogs resemble their masters.
Source: Antonio Fischetti and Sébastien Mourrain: “Psy i koty pod lupa naukowców”, Polarny Lis.
This is how the bookshop has set up the corner for children.
I buy “the wedding” written by Wyspiański. He was a painter AND an author. Agata tells me later that she read and analyzed this book at school.
Frightening paintings in the museum of Wyspiański
Next Iook for information about Wyspiański. However, I cannot find an exhibition about this Krakówian multitalent in the museum named after him. Instead I find a special exhibition of paintings produced by prisoners in Auschwitz and Birkenau. Some were ordered by the SS to decorate houses or to illustrate orders to the prisoners. Others have been painted in secret showing the atrocities of the concentration camps. And some are memories of the life outside the camps – they were painted to give hope that one day, they might be free again. I am particularly impressed by the drawings of a formerly famous skier that had painted the mountains with and without skiers. I am suffering of what the Germans that I am sharing roots with have done… I always feel guilty and I am not able to take one photo.
The house where Matejko lived: Ulica Florianska 41
I had found out about Matejko, when visiting Nowa Huta and Krzeslawice. He had a cottage near the lake of Krzeslawice which is now a museum. He was born and lived most of his life in Florianska 41, not far from the Rynek. Florianska 41 is this neoclassical building that has been renovated by adding modern style elements.
Matejko was born in 1832 to become an important Polish painter of the 19th century. He engaged to remind the Polish of their identity and culture, when Poland was ruled by foreign forces after 1792. He was famous for painting historical scenes such as Sobieski vanquishing the Turks in Vienna in 1683.
It is said that his paintings helped the Polish to keep up their spirit of resistance. In addition he painted portraits and cartoons. He was a professor at the academy of arts. One of his pupils was Wyspiańsky.
Two great places to relax: The Magia and the Bona
I go back to the shady courtyard of the Magia to have a fruit juice and meet Agata. Later I move to the Bona, a bar-bookshop in the Kanoniczka street and have a nice dry Muscat from Poland.
While I am reading, I am listening to a beautiful female voice singing opera arias in front of the twelve apostles of the Saint Peter and Paul church. This is what the place looks like later in the night.
Warm summer evenings in Kraków are a very relaxing experience! I return to the Rynek (Main Market Square) and listen to a violin player.
Look at the Sukiennice in the middle of the Rynek….
… and at Maria Church (Kosiól Mariacki) illuminated in the night.
I finish off my quiet evening with a Zubróvka (bison grass vodka) in my favorite coffee bar, the Magia, just behind Maria Church.