Ten Krakow buildings 100 years later

An easygoing Monday post with the emphasis on images rather than the hard-hitting prose we are notorious for (ahem).

I found a great site with loads of pictures Krakow buildings taken in the last decade of the 19th century, so I took myself of this weekend to see what they looked like today (14th September, 2008).

Dom Popielów, ul. Basztowa 1

A fine solid building, little changed in a hundred years. Krakow’s monument to Rejtan is right in front of this building.


Długa 8

An unobtrusive little building now with big brother neighbors.


ul. Sławkowska 25

At the head of one of the main streets leading into the Rynek Główny. Whoever took the original picture was either 3 meters tall or standing on a horse.


Rynek Główny 4

A fabulous confection of a building that has since undergone the indignity of becoming home to a Hard Rock Cafe.


Corner of ul. Karmelicka and Dunajewskiego

Situated on one of the busiest junctions in Krakow, leading from Karmelicka (my hood) into the old town via ul. Szewska. Note that you can now walk through the corner of the building on the ground floor, now converted into a pedestrian access – I wonder when and how that happened.


Dom Pod Pająkiem (House under the Spider), ul. Karmelickia 35

The building at the end of my street. A tricky one to photograph since somebody has thoughtlessly built a whole row of buildings on the opposite side of the street making it impossible to get exactly the right point of view. Worth taking a look at; there are all kinds of spiders and spider web references.


ul. Biskupia 2

This building has featured here before as the star of Incident on Łobzowska Street.


ul. Piłsudskiego 40

I chose this one because of it’s unusual style. Turns out it’s currently undergoing renovation, and a fourth floor has been added at some point in its history.


Dom Zimlera, ul. Kurniki 3

A very-recently and very-well renovated building close to Krakow’s sparkling new Galeria Krakowska shopping center. Now a set of self-catering apartments, a restaurant, and a basement pub.


ul. Karmelicka 37

Another building at the end of my street. Note the classy marble cladding of the new bank tenants.


I’ve been guilty of this kind of post before
, although not quite on the same scale.

Tagged ,

21 thoughts on “Ten Krakow buildings 100 years later

  1. Leszek says:

    Great job, Island! Very interesting!

  2. BurntMaze says:

    Such a great idea for a post and one that actually requires getting out of the apartment. I love old photos and seeing the buildings in a modern day setting really gives a feeling of permanence.

    Great! Tom

  3. island1 says:

    Glad you liked it. Great fun to make as well, gives you a whole new perspective on the streets you walk down every day.

  4. BurntMaze says:

    I bet it does. In Katowice I never had an opportunity to look at any of the buildings as I was too busy avoiding the crap on the streets.

    That being said, I’m coming back to Poland tomorrow and couldn’t be happier. No Katowice could be one reason.

  5. island1 says:

    Which crap-free location are you heading for this time? I seem to remember it was somewhere in the mountainous south.

  6. sapteka says:

    Civil engineers made his artworks survive for more than 100 years, but not the sofware engineers.

  7. Piotr says:

    Whats wrong with Katowice?

  8. Gabriela says:

    Even though I’ve never been to Krakow, nor Poland, some nostalgic feeling in unavoidable. Here in Lima, it’s discouraging to see they demolish beautiful building “for the sake of progress”.
    Do I have your permission for using these pictures for a future blog post? Of course, you’d be very visibly credited.
    All the best.

  9. “See the tree, how big it grows…”

    Excellent post. You’ve worked hard to get the same perspective, respect for that! The result is an instant social history lesson, the pluses and minus of development and change.


  10. island1 says:

    Thanks Michael. It was a lot of fun. I realized the original photographer must have had his camera set up on a carriage or wagon of some kind – his eyeline seems to be about 12 feet off the ground – which made it impossible to get exactly the same point of view. I’m tempted to do it all again with a portable stepladder!

  11. island1 says:

    Gabriela: Yes, you can use them in any way you want. I can’t imagine what you have in mind though!

  12. Gabriela says:

    Thanks a lot, Island.
    No need to imagine: I’m planning a post about how old places in Lima are being demolished just to build modern (and sometimes not nice) buildings. So I’ll use your pictures to make a comparison between your adoptive (and beloved) city and my (beloved) hometown.
    I’ll let you know.

  13. […] of ten Krakow buildings, now and then (100 years ago) – at Polandian. Posted by Veronica Khokhlova  Print Version Share […]

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hello Island:

    It’s done:

    I hope you like it. I have an online translator on my blog, so you can have an idea of the whole post.

    Thanks again!

  15. Gabriela says:

    I repeat my comment… I omitted my name. :S

    Hello Island:

    It’s done:

    I hope you like it. I have an online translator on my blog, so you can have an idea of the whole post.

    Thanks again!

  16. Kat says:

    I wanted to thank you for the captivating pictures you shared which demonstrated how the past history of Poland can be gentle in places, yet devastating in others. I often wonder what the original designers and builders would think if they could see their magnificent talent hundreds of years later.

    I have been searching around for old photos of Poland for weeks and this is the first time I have witnessed, through your pictures, exactly how certain treasures have survived.

    I myself recently found hidden treasures from my grandmothers past. Photo albums lovingly filled with her family in Poland, some of her as a young beautiful girl. The photos continued with her new family in America and they included one brother and two sisters who made the courageous journey.

    Sadly, I am reminded that her mother and several siblings stayed behind in Stanislaw and all perished. I have this need to discover the names for each wonderful face in her pictures. How many generations do I look at when holding family pictures filled with smiles?

    Did her home continue on without the obvious joy and love her family shared inside? Where are my great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents now? Is one buried in the cemetery I have a picture of? Are none buried near the home they made, but some place they were taken?

    Just as I keep searching for information on her past, I imagine one day someone will see your pictures and appreciate them in ways no words can describe.


  17. island1 says:

    Kat: Thanks for the comments, I’m very glad you found the photographs enjoyable. It’s a nice thought that somebody might find these useful one day.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree! I still am amazed that this happened these days. I was glad I am not running. I would love to are coming to terms for the future. I will want to know this evolving issue in the future.

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