Krakowians will sunbathe on bank of Vistula

The project will include permanent facilities such as restaurants, cafes and a theater. But the floating pool and beach, built over the river, will be dismantled at the end of summer, then re-installed next summer.

Jan Janczykowski, the head of the preservation office, offered no objection to the plan as long as the non-permanent parts of the complex are dismantled at the end of summer and the area they occupied restored to its original condition. The complex will be on Wolynski Avenue between the Grunwaldzki Bridge and the former Forum Hotel.

Old-timers remember a sandy beach on the Wisla near Wawel Castle, but it was closed in 1953. The area was restored to its natural state. This time the beach will be above the river, not along its bank.

The Polish-Italian company SAO Beach Investments says it can have the pool and beach ready in May. The recreation complex that goes with the beach will include not only eating places and a theater but also outdoor volleyball courts.

“We want this investment to become a new Krakow visiting card, broadening Krakow’s tourist map” says Filip Adamczak of SAO Investments.

A non-profit arts-promotion group plans another beach on the opposite side of the Grunwaldzki Bridge, near Manggha. The Foundation for the Promotion of Modern Art is patterning its projects after ones in Paris, Berlin and Rome. “Our beach is to be less commercial” and more cultural, said foundation member Bartosz Wojtowicz. Visitors will be able to see exhibitions and plays and take part in yoga. The foundation is in the process of arranging to rent land for the project. If that goes well, the beach can be open this summer.

Magdalena Jaskiewicz, head of the city planning department, said residents and tourists are enthused about the beach plans.
A survey indicated that residents believe the area is dangerous at night. A recreation complex would presumably alleviate that danger.

Beach complexes would “allow us to change the character of that place” while broadening the city’s recreational and cultural offerings, Jaskiewicz said.

Grzegorz Stawowy, head of the Malopolska region, said the city has found money for projects that will make the beach complexes even more appealing. This includes 340,000 zloty for a skating pond, 100,000 zloty for a climbing wall and 940,000 zloty for lighting of the area at night.

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