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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 30, 2008
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Crush on Cracow
July 30, 2008   
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The book Cracow in the European Core by Jacek Purchla, singled out for praise in a recent competition by the Polish Association of Book Publishers, contains almost 400 beautiful photographs of Cracow, a historic Polish city with vibrant traditions and a wealth of artistic heritage. The photos portray Cracow as a city that is undergoing constant change. There are also photos of distinguished Cracow residents, including artists, politicians and clergymen.

Metropolitan or provincial? Purchla asks this question in one of the chapters, pondering the city's past and examining its prospects for the future. On the one hand, Cracow is "the heart of Poland," Purchla says, but on the other, it is the most cosmopolitan city in the nation, one that has been a melting pot of different cultures for centuries.

In the book, Cracow is described from the perspective of a person for whom issues of cultural heritage are both a profession and a passion. The author is the director of the International Culture Center (ICC) in Cracow and a specialist in the history of art and urban planning.

"I have written this book for several reasons," Purchla said. "One of the most obvious ones is that it fits with the mission of the ICC and so it is no coincidence that it has been written here in Cracow. I not only wanted to sum up the history of Cracow, but also give a European dimension to it. In the book, the reader will find the entire millennium of Cracow's history in a nutshell, with an emphasis on the contribution that the city has made to European civilization. I have written a guide to Cracow's historic buildings, art and culture, but the book is also about a living city, its ups and downs, and about its inhabitants."

Edyta Gajewska

Jacek Purchla, Cracow in the European Core, BOSZ Publishing House and International Culture Center, 2008. The book is available in Polish, English and German.
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