Kraków’s cultural heritage has determined its special place on the map of European civilisation. The authenticity, integrity, continuity, representative charakter, artistic standard, and substance of its architectural heritage are what saw the former capital of Poland inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List as one of the first group of twelve sites, forty years ago.
The layout of medieval urban Kraków thus provides an angle from which to view this remarkable city as a work of art in the universal dimension. But Kraków is not only a collection of outstanding architectural monuments from various periods of history; it is also a treasury which for centuries has housed artworks and other vestiges of the past. Their artistic and historical aspects are the material evidence of the city’s significance and functions for over a thousand years.