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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 2, 2004
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Ma這polska Cultural Heritage Days
June 2, 2004 By Edyta Gajewska   
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The sixth Ma這polska Heritage Days will take place June 5-6.

Every year the event presents about a dozen historic buildings and sites from the Ma這polska region. These include well-known places presented in an unusual way. A true attraction at Heritage Days is the fact that they provide an opportunity to visit places that are normally closed to tourists. During the two-day event participants can not only see those places but also take part in artistic events organized at a given site-concerts, festivals, workshops, lectures and picnics.

The 13 places to be presented this year include the famous baroque Piarist church and monastery (with a remarkable trompe l'oeil painting depicting the sky and angels on the ceiling). A French horn and organ concert by Hungarian musicians will be held in the church as part of Heritage Days June 6 at 8 p.m. Another baroque building in the center of Cracow, at 16 Sienna St., is the State Archive open since 1878. Previously, the building served as a hospital for the poor. The archive possesses over 761,000 items, including the oldest collection of city maps and views, seals of Polish monarchs and a true rarity-Cracow's founding charter of 1257.

In the red brick waterworks complex in the Bielany district, constructed in the times of Francis Joseph, tourists will have a chance to see the historic interiors and old, yet still working, devices, as well as a multimedia presentation of the water treatment process.

Four mansions will be presented during Ma這polska Heritage Days. The first is the classicist mansion in Modlnica, former property of the Konopko family, today owned by the Jagiellonian University (a 16th-century wooden church is located next to it). The second mansion, a Gothic/Renaissance building in Je鄴w (Gorlice county), is decorated with particularly interesting renaissance frescos and paintings by Stanis豉w Wyspia雟ki. Another mansion, in Laskowa, is usually not open for tourists. It is a typical Polish 16th-17th century country manor house. The mansion in Tomaszowice is also a private property and houses the Cracow Conference Center.

Another example of a damaged historic building brought back to life is the neo-Gothic palace in Paszk闚ka, Wadowice county. The palace houses a hotel, a conference center and several exhibit rooms. The current exhibit presents works by the PORTON international artistic group.

The Konopko Family Palace in Wieliczka has been saved from destruction as well. For three years it has been the seat of the Cracow branch of the National Remembrance Institute. June 5 a ceremonious event will take place in the palace. The patron of Heritage Days, Ma這polska Province Chair Janusz Sepio, will grant the M. Kornecki Award for the protection of wooden historic buildings.

The Harenda Museum will present remembrances of Jan Kasprowicz, a poet from the Young Poland period, as well as performances of regional and theater groups. In Bobowa, in turn, tourists will be able to visit a synagogue, damaged by the Nazis during World War II and reconstructed with donated money.

An interesting and versatile program of events has been prepared by the Bartnik open-air museum in Str騜e, Nowy S帷z county. Beside visiting a museum of apiculture and an apiary with old, beautiful hives, tourists will have an opportunity to listen to concerts and lectures, taste honey-based dishes and drinks and see exhibits. High-quality honey will be sold at the museum as well.

Another building presented during Heritage Days will be the Minor Basilica in Olkusz, a perfect example of regional Gothic architecture featuring a priceless 15th-century polyptych and the perfectly preserved organ of Master Hummel on which Ma貪orzata Trzaskalik-Wyrwa will play June 6 at 7 p.m.

Presentations of the Olkusz Basilica, as well as other historical sites, have been prepared with the participation of young people. The education of Polish youth is of great value to Ma這polska Heritage Days.

Concerning this year's Heritage Days, Sepio mentions the "creation of adventure" and the fact that the special character of the event makes it attractive not only for tourists, but also for residents of the Ma這polska region.

The event, which also efficiently promotes the region, seems to have one flaw-its program is so rich that it is impossible to see all of the attractions prepared for the June weekend.
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