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Science and culture in Krakow

Today Their Majesties The King and Queen travelled to Krakow for the final day of their State Visit to Poland. The cultural capital of Poland formed a natural backdrop for a programme focusing on science and culture.


Krakow is one of Poland’s oldest cities, and one of the first sites to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Warsaw became the capital city in 1609, but Krakow remains Poland’s cultural capital and one of the country’s leading centres for science, art and culture.

Polish-Norwegian research cooperation

A new research programme was launched today at the University of Krakow. This joint Polish-Norwegian programme will give priority to environmental, climate and polar research as well as to research on health, migration and gender equality. The Research Council of Norway will serve as the Norwegian partner in the programme, which will be funded by EEA and Norway Grants.

The King and Queen attended the launching ceremony, where a new grant programme that makes EUR 10 million available for grants to students and researchers was also presented.

Met with Norwegian students

Before the King and Queen left the university, they met with some of the 350 Norwegian students who are attending classes there. About 1 300 Norwegians are studying in Poland – mostly in the field of medicine.

Cultural centre in the Main Market Square

From the university the King and Queen continued on to the International Cultural Centre, whose task is to support the cultural integration of Europe and to preserve European cultural heritage. The centre was expanded in 2006-2009 with the help of EEA and Norway Grants.

The centre is located in the Main Market Square in Krakow Old Town, and from here it is just a short walk to the vast Renaissance hall known as Sukiennice. During its golden age in the 1400s, this characteristic hall was a hub for the international textile trade. Today it is part of Poland’s National Museum and houses the acclaimed Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art. EEA and Norway Grants contributed to the renovation of the building and the establishment of a conservation centre in connection with the museum.

The King and Queen had the opportunity to view some of the most important paintings in the collection.

Concluded in St Mary’s Basilica

Following a concluding meeting with the press and a luncheon at Palac Bonerwoski, King Harald and Queen Sonja made their final stop at one of Krakow’s most well-known landmarks, St Mary’s Basilica. Each hour one of the city’s firemen plays a call on a trumpet from the basilica’s highest tower. The call breaks off abruptly in the middle – to commemorate an unknown bugler who was struck in the throat by an arrow as he tried to warn the city of a Tatar invasion. At 12:00 noon the call can be heard throughout Poland when it is broadcast on the radio.

The King and Queen concluded their three-day State Visit to Poland with today’s visit to Krakow.


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