Wyspiański Pavilion

pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2

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A modern conference and exhibition centre, whose construction was sparked by an idea of the director Andrzej Wajda. A stained-glass image based on never previously implemented designs by Stanisław Wyspiański is set in the three windows of the façade.

The little plot at Grodzka Street 19 is where a narrow, two-bay house Pod Lipkami stood until 1939. In the following decades the square left after its demolition was the subject of architectural competitions and disputes concerning the potential development or other form of management of the empty space. The plans had been far from realistic until 1998, when the director Andrzej Wajda suggested the construction of the “Wyspiański 2000” Pavilion (currently the Wyspiański Pavilion). The idea suited the Kraków 2000 Festival taking place at the time perfectly, as its main purpose was the cultural promotion of the city. Wajda’s concept assumed that the largest façade of the building would contain three windows with stained glass designed by Stanisław Wyspiański, and presenting St Stanislaus, Duke Henry the Pious (Henryk Pobożny), and King Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki). The artist designed them for Wawel Cathedral, yet that idea never came to fruition. Wajda’s concept was, in turn, strongly disputed with arguments including discussion of the sombre and eschatological climate of the proposed stained-glass decoration. True: the saint and the duke are presented at the moment of death, while the image of the king with naked skull in the royal crown corresponds to what Wyspiański saw after the monarch’s coffin was opened 600 years after his death. Controversies were also raised by the texture of the façade, and Krzysztof Ingarden’s architectural design for the building. Made of moving ceramic tiles mounted on metal rods, the façade modifies the amount of light reaching the interior. Opened on 2 June 2007 as Kraków celebrated the 750th anniversary of the Great City Charter, the Pavilion perfectly matches the developments around Wszystkich Świętych Square. It is managed by the Kraków Festival Office which, in addition to conferences and exhibitions, here runs one of the points of the InfoKraków City Information Network.

pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2
About: disabled-friendly, admission free
For whom: for children
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