Study visits 9 June 2015, 14:00 to 18:00

Nowa Huta:
Interpreting the heritage of socialism:
myths, facts and multiple perspectives

'Nova Huta' means new steel works. After World War II, the communist government constructed, on the outskirts of Kraków, a huge steel plant and developed an entirely new city of 100.000 inhabitants. It used fertile, flat land where several wealthy villages had existed for centuries. Today, the city is a part of Kraków and is a distinctive architectural assembly of post war socialist architecture.

Nova Huta was a place in praise of the achievements of socialist society, and it witnessed events that finally paved the way to the fall of the Iron Curtain. It is a city that was built without a church, and yet religion played a pivotal role in its history. Kraków citizens have mixed opinions about Nowa Huta but many people who know the place from their childhood now move back with own their families.

We will be guided by someone who knows many hidden and more obvious stories about Nowa Huta as her  parents helped to build the town and the steel works. We will discover some of the tangible and intangible heritage of a city which is still younger than its oldest inhabitants. And we will see the small museum that is a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków which helps to understand a socialist city from different points of view.

Niepołomice Forest:
Food, fun and nature conservation:
the various faces of hunting

The history of hunting is as long as the history of humankind. It has evolved in many places from the need to survive to a sport for high society where people compete for trophies. Today, in Poland, it is heavily controlled and now plays an important role in nature conservation and forestry management.

Debates about hunting are full of emotion and can get very heated. How can we create understanding for the needs of modern forestry without any predators? How can the topic of hunting be interpreted? Do we need to bring together all points of view or should we set limits?

The Niepołomice Forest near Kraków has been the most popular hunting ground for Polish royalty since the 13th century. We will visit the Royal Castle which has witnessed the culture of hunting through many centuries.

Niepołomice Forest is situated close to Kraków and is now a popular destination for day trips. Conflicts between the behaviour of tourist and the needs of forest management are well-anticipated.

We will be guided at Niepołomiceby members of the Forestry Inspectorate and discuss the role that heritage interpretation can play in raising awareness among visitors who are not necessarily interested in protecting nature.

Our partner for this study tour will be the State Forests National Forest Holding Niepołomice Inspectorate.

Schindler's factory:
Working to save lives in the Ghetto

You may have seen the movie Schindler's List but did you know that parts of the original factory still exist? They've been turned into the Museum of Kraków under Nazi occupation. Bearing such a famous name is both an opportunity and a challenge.

When planning the museum, its designers were faced with finding a balance between the benefit of having a famous location that would attract many visitors from all over the world and dealing with the question of how to raise awareness of the wider picture while not making too much a hero of a single person.

After the visit to the museum our guide will take us to the former Kraków Ghetto following the traces of Jewish life which were recorded in diaries during the period of Nazi occupation.