Some places are so iconic and have so much history that they basically have personalities in their own right. The part of the city we have been tasked with getting to know, Rynek Glowny or the Main Square, is one of these spots, and the people visiting it seem to be aware of it. In our discussions with the citizens of Krakow and travellers who have made their way here, we have heard many people praise the square’s beautiful buildings, its atmosphere, its diversity (“there’s something for everyone!”). It is the heart of the city, and many events are held here, such as the performance seen in the pictures video accompanying this post.
Improving an area like this is difficult, if not impossible, especially considering we are a group of outsiders. None of us know this city, not really; what right do we have to alter one of the most famous spots in Poland? Change, in and of itself, is not necessarily positive. Our encounters with the people on Rynek Glowny seem to imply that, in this case, it may be very difficult to change anything for the better.
Perhaps, then, it might be wiser to consider preservation instead of improvement. In a world that seems to be focused on growth, rather than equilibrium, this may seem like an odd point of view to take; on the other hand, maybe it’s worth considering that not taking a step is not the same as walking backwards.
(Follow the video link for a filmed illustration of an event at the square!
Photos and video: Maria