After laying dormant for over a decade, this former tobacco factory has risen again as ‘Tytano’ - a veritable ‘city within the city.’ Inhabiting 15,000m2 and six buildings, Tytano’s sheer size, potential, and post-industrial allure has attracted dozens of young, alternative and original businesses with their fingers on the pulse of current cultural trends, making this artsy, offbeat complex the current place to be in Kraków.
The queue for a beer in Weźże Krafta - Kraków’s biggest multitap bar - is running over a dozen deep on a warm Saturday night, but that’s nothing compared to the queue of businesses and initiatives eager to set up shop here inside Tytano - the former tobacco plant on ul. Dolnych Młynów, just west of Kraków’s Old Town. The first bar to open their doors (back in June) inside this emergent culture complex for young creative enterprises, Weźże is one of over a dozen businesses already residing in Tytano, but that number is expected to rise to 50 in the next year, with over 200 projects having applied for a highly coveted space inside this post-industrial complex.
So how did an abandoned cigarette factory become the hottest address in town? Well, Tytano’s transformation from industrial graveyard to alternative culture centre is actually well within an established tradition of similar successful urban renewal projects in Poland like Łódź’s Manufaktura and OFF Piotrkowska, Poznań’s OFF Garbary and even Wrocław’s Browar Mieszczański. The fact that there is so much enthusiasm over a comparable place in conservative Kraków is hardly a surprise, particularly after the popularity of forerunning establishments like Forum Przestrzenie and Fabryka (now defunct, but re-opening soon in...Tytano!).