Exploring Lesser Poland: NOWA HUTA– socialist district of Kraków

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You are in Kraków and want to see something else than old churchies, castle or the biggest european market square? Go to Nowa Huta, the postindustrial Kraków’s district

What is all about?

Nowa Huta is a district of Kraków, located on northern-east of the city center. Best known because of its history – it was typical Socialist industry district formed in 1949 by socialist government, according to the idea of an ideal communism city projected by Tadeusz Ptaszynski.

Now it figures as a tourist attraction – because of the history, socialist architecture and post industrial buildings and typical atmosphere for this period.

At the beginning of visiting Nowa Huta, the best to start is the museum History of Nowa Huta, a branch of the Historical Museum of Krakow. In here were collected various materials documenting the history of the district: history of the origin, the industrial nature of the area, as well as the transformations that have taken place, and the history of anti-socialist opposition movement, which was Krakow’s Nowa Huta center.

Another point worth seeing place is the Central Square and Avenue of Roses, a unique urban layout typical of socialist construction, registered as monument of the city of Krakow. At the Central Square you can see The Solidarity Monument – a monument commemorating the actions of members NSSZ Solidrnorść and other people involved in the action for freedom in Poland and the defense of human rights.

Lord’s Ark Church is the first church built, after long negotiations, in the labour settlement. Socialist ideology rejected religious cults, but several residents of the neighborhood organized a demonstration aimed at forcing the government to build a church. Thus, after 10 years, in 1977 the church was built. Its name refers to the association of a shape of the ark.

Sendzimir Huta – the second largest steelwork in Poland, operating since 1954. In times of greatest splendor, steelwork employed about 40,000 workers, mostly residents of Nowa Huta. Huta was a center of Communist opposition and strikes organized by NSSZ Solidarity activists.

WANDA Mound, one of the four Krakow’s mounds, built around VII – VIII century. Its history and purpose of creation is based primarily on the legend, that it is Wandas’, daughter of Prince Krak grave. Her body was found floating in the water of Vistula river. Mound is topped with a marble monument designed by Jan Matejko. Mound has just 14 meters, but despite its small size is a big tourist attraction.

STYLOWA RESTAURANT – a place you must visit – the former cult restaurant maintained in a typical communist style. Guests cannot only see how it looked in the communism period, but also try characteristic of the period dishes or choose dancing. The restaurant was established in 1956 and initially worked as a café. It was a place frequented by the locals, especially from Nowa Huta district. Now its meals are a big attraction for tourists who would like to experience the relics of the past.

What else is worth to see in Nowa Huta?

Residential units

Steelworks’ headquarters

Soviet tank

Park Tysiąclecia

Polish Aviation Museum

and many, many others
In Nowa Huta, there is a possibility to hire a guide or join an organized tour. We highly recommend:

http://krakowshuttle.com/krakow-tours/communism-tour/

and the deluxe version

http://krakowshuttle.com/krakow-tours/communism-deluxe-tour/

 

There is also the option to rent a car, made during the communist era as Nysa and Trabant and take independent tour of the neighborhood.