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Christmas time and the crib contest in Krakow
A Christmas fair on the Main Market Square is a competition and annual exhibition of Kraków cribs.
Do you know that Kraków is the world centre of the production of glass-balls which are hand-made and painted and that Kraków glass-balls decorate the Christmas tree in the White House? Now, you will have the opportunity to check it by yourself at the 1st Thursday of December each year.


1st DAY

Arrival to Kraków, guided short walk via the beautiful streets of Old Town in Kraków and the largest market square – Rynek Główny (in medieval Europe it was the meeting place of Kraków burghers and merchants from all over the Europe) and feel the magic of Christams time in Kraków. In these days you will be able to known the tradition of Polish crèches.
A long-time tradition in Poland during the Christmas season is the building of "Szopki" (pronounced shop-key), which are elaborate form of the Nativity scene. This tradition started back in the 13th century in Krakow, Poland, and remains an annual tradition whereas major prizes are awarded for the most elaborately decorated and designed Szopki. Each hour you can hear the Bugle Call, played from the taller tower of St. Mary’s Church to four sides of the world. Entrance to the St. Mary’s Church with one of the largest Gothic altars in Europe which was carved in linden wood by Master Veit Stoss.
Dinner in the restaurant in the Old Town. 


2nd DAY
After breakfast guided tour of Kraków, including entrance to Wawel Castle (The Polish Acropolis. Originally Romanesque, later Gothic, the castle is mostly a Renaissance construction in its present form), Collegium Maius (the oldest preserved building of the Jagiellonian University, founded by The Royal Act at 12th May 1364, dates back to the early 15th century. The museum’s rich collection includes objects related to Nicolas Copernicus, who studied at the Krakow’s Academy, old Arabian astronomic instruments, including famous early-16th-century globe with a representation of America)and the Cloth Hall – Sukiennice.
In the afternoon departure for a guided tour in Wieliczka Salt Mine – one of the most ancient mines in the world. It has been operating since the 13th century with no intermissions. In 1978, it was listed as UNESCO World Culture and National Heritage Site. The tourist route open for visitors connects three levels, and reaches 135 meters under the surface. Besides the Tourist Route, the underground passages and chambers house the Kraków Salt-Works Museum, one of the largest mining-related museums in Europe.
Dinner in the hotel. 


3rd DAY
After breakfast you will participate in the contests of Polish cribs. In early December, every year, a competition of most beautiful Nativity Scenes is organised in the Main Market Square, Highly decorative works are submitted by people of all ages and trades. The Krakowian crèches sometimes reach six feet in height. Their construction is based on elements of Krakow's historic architecture including Gothic spires, Renaissance facades and Baroquian-topped domes. The Christmas crèche is common to all of the Christian faith, but the szopka is unique to Poland. The szopka, once a humble peasant pleasure, has become a recognised Polish institution. A truly Polish Christmas celebration is not complete without some form of this scene.
In the afternoon you will visit Krzysztofory Palace where every year, after the verdict of Jury, the Museum of History of the City Krakow organises an exhibition of the awarded works.
In the evening, farewell-gala dinner in restaurant in the Old Town.


4th DAY
After breakfast - departure.

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