Krakow

Błonia Meadow

  Old Town         19 Sep 2018

A massive and inexplicably undeveloped tract of greenery directly west of the Old Town, the Błonia is a huge, triangular open space measuring nearly 50 hectares. Technically a park, although lacking any trees or other defining characteristics, the Polish name ‘Błonia’ denotes ‘meadows’ – something of an amiable linguistic redressing of the Błonia’s true and unchanged historical function: it’s a cow pasture. The area’s ability to survive to modern times as the largest city centre open space in Europe can be accredited to a perfect storm of boggy undesirability, a centuries-long ownership dispute, and finally a medieval legislative wrinkle. Used by locals to graze cattle even midway into the 20th century, when the Cracovia Hotel was built next to it in 1965 the city moved to permanently ban unfashionable bovines from the Błonia, only to find themselves obstructed by an apparently still legally binding 14th century decree by Queen Jadwiga which they would have to sort out with Warsaw. Warsaw not being the most cooperative or expedient bureaucratic partner in those times, city council decided to stick with the status quo, making it perfectly acceptable for you to air old Bessie on the Błonia to this day. Though a great idea for an annual weekend event (called ‘Bovines on the Błonia’, tell the mayor to get in touch for more details), these days you’ll find the green triangle has primarily become the favourite leisure space of dogs and their frisbee chasing, ball playing owners, while the perimeter is a popular track for cycling, running and roller-blading. Protected as a National Heritage Site since 2000, the Błonia is ideal for large-scale outdoor events, hosting numerous concerts, rallies and – most notably – historic open air masses by Pope John Paul II, and more recently Pope Francis during 2016's World Youth Day celebrations.

Associated Venues

Comments

Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket

Poland shop
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE
Top