Nowhere is the history of civilisation and culture reflected so faithfully as in the history of cities. The latter are so fascinating that they even deserve their own genre: “biographies of cities”. “Cracow in the European Core” by Professor Jacek Purchla has had two album releases so far. The new version brings out the literary, “biographical” aspect of the book. The cultural history of Krakow by prof. Purchla covers the entire spectrum of the city’s history – from the earliest times to the present day. This is the only full synthesis of this history so far.
Krakow is one of the cities of our continent where the past and tradition essentially determine contemporary development, and history defines its identity. In contrast to Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest, it is the only such large city with historically shaped metropolitan functions.
Prof. dr hab. Jacek Purchla, full professor of humanities; active member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences; chairman of the Polish UNESCO Committee and Polish representative in the UNESCO Executive Council in Paris. In 2016-2017, he was the chairman of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. He is the head of the Department of Economic and Social History of the Krakow University of Economics, as well as the Institute of European Heritage of the International Cultural Centre, of which he is the founder and in 1991-2017 he was the director. Chairman of the University Council of the Jagiellonian University. Doctor honoris causa of the National University of Lviv Polytechnic.
His research focuses on the development of cities, social history and art history of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the theory and protection of cultural heritage. Author of over 400 publications, including many books. Member of numerous organisations and associations, including Comité international d’histoire de l’art (titular member), expert of the European Commission on the European Heritage Label project. In 2000-2016, he chaired the Monuments Protection Council at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. President of the Society of Krakow History and Monuments Lovers and editor of „Rocznik Krakowski”. In 2018, he was elected vice-president of Europa Nostra.