The City of Kraków

Kraków, the historical capital of Polish kings, lies in the place where the Vistula River crosses the narrowest segment of the Carpathian foredeep, between the Carpathian foothills built of flysch and the cliff-flanked horsts of karstified Oxfordian limestones. The medieval Old Town, now surrounded by the modern city with a population of ca 760 000, is delineated by a narrow green belt known as the Planty Park, created in the place of the ancient moat and town walls, of which one majestic section is preserved. The Old Town, with its spectacular Main Market Square and Cloth Hall, is a UNESCO world heritage site housing dozens of ancient churches and other architectural monuments. It now hosts also hundreds of restaurants, pubs, coffee bars, clubs, museums, exhibition halls and commercial shops (see The Old Town abuts on the Vistula River, where the limestone horst of the Wawel Hill rises topographically with the Royal Castle and Cathedral at the top. The hill has a karst cave formed by ascending thermal waters, which – according to a legend – was once occupied by a dragon. After the eventual killing of the dragon by a clever young local shoemaker, the cave became a legendary city pub. This Dragon's Den is now open for visitors, as is also the whole Royal Castle museum complex.


Adjacent to the Old Town is Kazimierz, another historical district of the city, originally a separate medieval town with its own fortifications, churches, synagogues and a town hall. It is now most remarkable for the relics of the former Jewish quarter with its unique atmosphere.



The numerous museums and exhibitions in Kraków include several geological ones. The city abounds also in interesting geological outcrops, one of them at the foot of the Royal Castle above the Vistula River and with numerous abandoned quarries at the city peripheries. The underground of the Old Town, with excavated basements of medieval constructions, is now accessible at the Main Market Square as a spectacular subterranean exhibition.

The Jagiellonian University

The Old Town includes also the historical original buildings of the Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364. The university's most prominent alumni included Nicolas Copernicus and Pope John Paul II. It was also the cradle of Polish geology. Geological research has been conducted here since 1782 and regular education in geology began in 1886. The university has ever since been one of the leading centres of geological science in Poland, with its pioneer geologists using the same chemical laboratory where Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski had for the first time liquefied oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in stable state. One of the major results of the early regional studies was the Geological Atlas of Galicia, a set of 99 detailed geological maps 1:75 000 with comprehensive volumes of explanations, covering the area of Galicia, then a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


After the World War I, when Poland was reborn as an independent state after the 123 years of partitioning between her three neighbours, the Polish Geological Society was established in Kraków and soon initiated publication of the oldest Polish geological journal, presently known as Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae. Many pioneering sedimentological papers, particularly on flysch deposits, were published in this journal, whose full contents are now available online.

Extensive geological research and education have concurrently been conducted at the city's Academy of Mining and Metallurgy (AGH), established after the World War I and presently known as the AGH University of Science and Technology. Other important centres of geological research in Kraków are the local branch of the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Carpathian Division of the Polish Geological Survey (PIG).

It is fair to say that the Polish sedimentology originated in Kraków, in the middle 20th century. Marian Książkiewicz (1906–1981), as a professor at the Jagiellonian University, conducted his ground-breaking studies on the geology of the Carpathians and the sedimentary structures of the Carpathian flysch. His pioneering research was advanced further by his several students, including Stanisław Dżułyński (1924–2001) who – in collaboration with Philip H. Kuenen and Edward K. Walton across the infamous political 'iron curtain' – contributed significantly to the original concept of turbidity current. A spectacular collection of Stan Dżułyński's samples of turbidite solemarks is on a permanent display in the museum of the Jagiellonian University's Institute of Geological Sciences (only a 10-minute walk from the meeting venue). Last, but not least, it is also in Kraków where the first and only Polish sedimentological textbook Sedymentologia was so successfully conceived by Ryszard Gradziński, Aleksandra Kostecka, Andrzej Radomski and Rafał Unrug in 1976.

Conference Centre

The meeting will be held in the modern conference centre of the Jagiellonian University, called Auditorium Maximum. This facility was opened in 2005 and offers an amphitheatrical main lecture hall with 1200 seats, divisible into two independent parts, as well as one additional hall with 250 seats, two halls with 150 seats each, and one other hall with 100 seats. The halls are fully equipped with multimedia services and the building is completed with catering, sanitary and several other facilities.



The meeting site is only a 10-minute walk away to the city Main Market Square – the largest medieval city square in Europe – with the numerous restaurants along the way prepared to offer special reduced prices to the meeting participants.


The local currency is the Polish Złoty (PLN). The currency exchange rate per the 20th of August 2014 is as follows:
EUR/PLN = 4.18
USD/PLN = 3.15
GBP/PLN = 5.23
CHF/PLN = 3.46


The late June in Kraków promises a fair weather with an average temperature of ca 18°C, possibly reaching 25°C at noon and falling to 10°C at night. However, rainfalls may occur and umbrellas (cheap in Poland) are thus recommended. If rainstorms occur and the level of mountain streams rises, the route of some of the field trips may also need to be changed.

Tourist Information

As a popular tourist city, Kraków has an extensive accommodation infrastructure. The regular city transport includes inexpensive tramways, buses and taxis. The tourist in-city services include el-car mini-coaches and ‘romantic' horse-driven carts, whereas proper air-conditioned buses are used for all out-of-city trips. The meeting's gala dinner will be held in the unique and unforgettable undergrounds of the Wieliczka salt mine near Kraków.

Kraków is also generally appreciated for its night life and a wide range of cultural entertainment, including live music from jazz to rock. (Anyway, the food and drinks in Poland are relatively inexpensive.)

Our official organizing partner Jordan Group website provides on its website all key information on the accommodation, tourist tours, airport transfers, public transport tickets and the low-price Kraków Tourist Card for in-city travelling.

For other information about the city of Kraków, see the Kraków website.

Language of the Meeting

English will be the official language of the meeting and no translation facilities will be provided. Polish is the official language of Poland and visitors may encounter some communication barriers, although most of the service people in Kraków can speak English and many can also communicate in German or Russian.