While the big event above ground took place at the start of the month, Cracovians have had to wait until the end of September to finally go down under – but the wait will be worth it.
The “Traces of Krakow’s European Identity” exhibition – a separate enterprise to the National Museum-run gallery upstairs – will open tonight, 24 September, at 8 pm, and will lead visitors underground and through the history of Krakow as a major hub on the crossroads of ancient trading routes. The Sukiennice building itself arose as a trade hall, and at the height of Krakow’s golden age in the 15th century, you could find everything from silk to spices to salt in the Cloth Hall’s stalls. Now, those ancient roads have been dug up and restored, and the wooden stalls have been recreated, as part of a tour through the history of this part of Europe.
The underground museum promises to be a fully interactive experience, with multi-media presentations recreating the atmosphere of a busy 15th-century trading hall. High-tech gadgets, including plasma TVs, holograms and laser projections, touch-screen displays featuring information on exhibits, and a 3D-capable cinema, will make the Sukiennice underground one of the most modern museums not only in Poland, but in Europe.