CISIM 2013

The conference activities will take place in the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, 19 Reymonta St., Building D-10 of the AGH University of Science and Technology in a town full of magic and incredible atmosphere called Kraków. The city in the southern part of Poland, bound with a ribbon of Vistula River, was the Capital of Poland from 1038 until 1795 and the residential city of Polish kings until 1611.
One fourth of Polish total number of museum artifacts is accumulated in Kraków. A visit to this city is a meeting with the most glorious era in Polish history. The renaissance Royal Castle at Wawel, the gothic St. Mary's Basilica, the historical trade pavilions of the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), the former separate Jewish city of Kazimierz with its ancient synagogues in the southern part of the town, one of the oldest universities of the international renown, the Jagiellonian University, and the Nowa Huta district absorbed by Kraków together with its socialist-realist, industrial architecture, are all places which make a visit to Kraków extremely worthwhile. Benefiting from its geographical location, Kraków, aiming to become a meeting place of many cultures and nations, has successfully claimed its position as a Central European metropolis - a city of culture, art and science. Several universities are located in Kraków and many world-famous representatives of Polish culture reside in the city. Kraków will also host World Youth Day in 2016.

Places worth seeing in Kraków

  • Wawel Royal Castle atop a limestone outcrop on the left bank of the Vistula river in Kraków originates from early Romanesque stone building from mid XI century called the palatium. The current Gothic residence was built by Casimir the Great in XIV century and refurbished into Renaissance palace by Sigismund I the Old during XVI century. The castle is the part of far greater complex including among others the Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus which is the resting place of many Polish kings, statesmen and poets, Rotunda of the Virgin Mary from X century and even some older wooden constructions.
  • Wawel Dragon statue represents a famous dragon in Polish mythology who lived in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill on the banks of the Vistula River and was killed by Skuba the Shoemaker. The statue is made out of bronze and stands on a large limestone boulder. Its unique design allows the dragon to breath fire and after recent modernization everyone can trigger it by sending an SMS message.
  • Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, also known as St. Mary's Church, is the second important church in Kraków after the Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus on Wawel Hill. It is a Brick Gothic building originating from XIII century. The church contains, among many other artifacts, one of the most famous altars in the world - the Altarpiece of Veit Stoss. On every hour, a trumpet signal called the Hejnał mariacki is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers.
  • Old Synagogue is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the former Jewish town and currently a district of Kraków - Kazimierz. It was built in XV century and rebuilt to its current shape in 1570. It is an extremely rare example of fortress synagogue meant to withstand prolonged siege. It does not fulfill religious functions anymore and is a division of the Historical Museum of Kraków with the exhibitions concentrating on the history, culture, traditions and daily activities of Jews in Kraków.
  • The Czartoryski Museum and Library has a very turbulent history since its founding in Puławy in 1796 by Princess Izabela Czartoryska. Many famous paintings of the princess' collection were stolen by Nazis and never found again like Raphael's "Portrait of a Young Man". Despite of it the museum still hosts the priceless collection of paintings including Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine", Rembrandt's "Landscape with Good Samaritan" and Pieter Brueghel the Younger's "Preaching of St. John the Baptist".
  • Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) is a Renaissance building on a Main Market Square in the Kraków Old Town which partially retained its original function of a center of trade. Tourists can buy a wide range of suvenirs from Kraków inside. On the upper floor is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum in Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture of the artists such as Jan Matejko, Henryk Siemiradzki, Jacek Malczewski and Józef Chełmoński. Four grand exhibition halls are arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch.
  • Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory was converted into museum and hosts a permanent exhibition devoted to the life in Kraków under Nazi occupation. The former owner of the factory, Oskar Schindler was the German industrialist who saved the lives of over 1200 Jews during World War II by employing them in his factories and therefore protected them from deportation to concentration camps. For his actions was honored with the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel.
  • Museum of Municipal Engineering is a must-see for anyone interested in the development of industrial technologies and motorization. The museum is located in the historic buildings of the oldest tram depot in Kraków. You can see many rare models of mainly Polish cars, trams, buses and motorcycles here. Noteworthy is also the permanent exhibition of printing techniques from XV century to the present times.
  • Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy houses the Divine Mercy painting created with the directions of Saint Faustina Kowalska. The painting is widely venerated by Catholics worldwide. The church is also the resting place of Saint Faustina which resulted in designating the basilica as a shrine in 1968. Two Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have visited the shrine and millions of pilgrims from around the world continue to visit it every year.
  • Manggha Center of Japanese Art and Technology is both the museum and the center of culture The institution organizes exhibitions of traditional Japanese art and presentations of Japanese culture, language and customs. The Center has started to extend its area of activity to the cultures of Korea, China and other Asian countries. Many lectures, conferences, dance and theater shows aim for the rapprochement of cultures of Poland and Far East.
  • Rynek Underground is a museum located under the Main Market Square of Kraków. Archaeological works in the location of the museum started in 2005 and supposed to last for 6 months. Many significant and surprising discoveries resulted in an extension of the works and discovery of many precious artifacts from the 1000 years of history of Kraków. Bold decision of presentation of the results of the archaeological works at the place of finding lead to the creation of this unique museum in 2010.
  • Pharmacy under the Eagle is a small but very important and meaningful museum. It is the restoration of the World War II era pharmacy, whose owner Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff were the only Poles allowed to live and work in the Jewish ghetto. In conspiracy they supplied food and medicine, falsified documents and helped in avoiding deportations to concentration camps. For his actions Tadeusz Pankiewicz was honored with the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel.

Places worth seeing near Kraków

  • Jasna Góra (Clarus Mons) Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa Queen of Poland (120 km) is the most sacred place for all Polish Catholics. The complex is one of the most important sites of the worship of Our Lady and has been the heart of pilgrimage in Poland for centuries. It is home to the Icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, as well as a collection of many other pieces of art, mostly sacral, presented as thanksgiving offerings by believers.
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine (13 km) is located in the town of Wieliczka within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation. From its beginning and throughout its existence, the Royal Mine was run by The Żupy Krakowskie Salt Mines. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding.
  • Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau (70 km) located near the town of Oświęcim was established in former World War II Nazi concentration camp to commemorate the victims of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. At first, the Germans held Polish political prisoners in the camp. From the spring of 1942 Auschwitz became the largest site for the murder of Jews brought here under the Nazi plan for their extermination. More than 1,100,000 men, women, and children lost their lives here.
  • Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec (12 km) is standing tall on the high bank of the Vistula River. According to the local tradition it was founded by King Casimir the Restorer in 1044. The abbey has very turbulent history with many renovations and reconstructions although it still serves its original role and is one of the most significant landmarks of Polish Catholicism.
  • Ojców National Park (24 km) is a land full of caves, castles and unusual limestone cliffs, ravines and rock formations. The most interesting places will surely have to include: Renaissance Castle in Pieskowa Skala, the largest in the park King's Władysław I the Elbow-high Cave, Dark Cave with prehistoric inhabitants, the ruins of a medieval King's Casimir castle in Ojców, an unusual rock called "Hercules' Club" and the Cracow Gate.
  • Holy Father John Paul II Family Home Museum in Wadowice (60 km) was opened in September 2010 after a thorough reconstruction of a tenement house at No 7 Kościelna Street where the Wojtyła family had lived before WW II and where the papal museum has operated since 1984. Multimedia exhibition takes the visitor on a trip through different stages of the Holy Father’s life, inviting reflection and showing the climate and life in pre-war Wadowice.
  • Royal Castle in Pieskowa Skała (20 km) is beautifully located on a limestone cliff in the valley of river Prądnik. It was built by King Casimir the Great and is one of the best-known examples of a defensive Polish Renaissance architecture. It was erected in the first half of the 14th century as part of the chain of fortified castles called Orle Gniazda (Eagles Nests), along the highland plane of the Polish Jura.
  • Sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (45 km) was founded in 1601 by Mikołaj Zebrzydowski, governor of Krakow. It consists of the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels, the monastery of Bernardine Fathers and a complex of over 40 chapels composed into a picturesque landscape, referred to as Kalwaria Paths. Over a million pilgrims visit this devotional complex every year.