Podgórze, like most districts of Krakow, was initially a separate town. Its beginnings date back to the first partition of Poland in 1772, when the Austrian authorities decided to establish a new administrative centre in the previously poorly developed area. Looking to increase the population there as quickly as possible, the authorities provided the new residents of the town with numerous imperial privileges, such as exemption from military service or free land allocation. The centre of social life throughout the decades was Podgórski Square, in the heart of the town, with its jewel in the crown being the neo-Gothic church of St Joseph, built between 1901 and 1909. Podgórze developed rapidly at this time – in 1900 a municipal power plant started to operate there, beating the deteriorating Krakow by around 5 years. Given such facts, it’s no wonder that the inhabitants of Podgórze were not at all happy when the plans to incorporate the town into Krakow first appeared in 1913. This process finally happened in 1915.
In the years 1941-1943, the Nazis established a ghetto in the district, which was mostly where the inhabitants of the Kazimierz district were sent. Approximately 20,000 Jews were relocated to live in the ghetto, in an area covering about a dozen streets (including Limanowskiego, Brodzińskiego and Kącik). Many of them were employed in Schindler’s factory, which was located nearby, and the cable factory in Płaszów, where there was also a concentration camp. After the ghetto was liquidated, the vast majority of its inhabitants died. The Eagle Pharmacy, currently a branch of the Krakow Museum, operated at Plac Bohaterów Getta (which was called the Little Market Square at that time). It is well worth a visit in order to learn more about the extraordinary story of its owner, Tadeusz Pankiewicz.
The most important and, at the same time, most famous spot in Podgórze is the Krakus Mound, which is cloaked in myth and legend and whose function and origins are still unclear despite many years of archaeological research. It offers a wonderful view of the whole of Krakow and, most importantly, is open for visitors at all times of the day. Nearby is the Liban Quarry, which was established in the late 19th century and where there are still some elements remaining of the sets built for Steven Spielberg’s famous movie Schindler’s List. Nowadays, Podgórze has an intimate atmosphere and no shortage of charm; it’s a great place for wandering around, while the Father Bernatek footbridge offers a wonderful view of the Vistula river. We would also recommend visiting the Podgórze Museum to find out more about the district’s history and a trip to the 100-year-old Bednarski Park if you fancy a little rest and relaxation.
Urząd Dzielnicy XIII
Rynek Podgórski 1
12 656 62 25