how to trace Condrad in the city: 

< Floriańska Street: – according to the writer’s memoir, on this street, “on the second floor of the third house counting from St. Florian’s Gate” there was a male dormitory where Conrad lived after his father’s death > 

​< 12 Poselska Street – his childhood house where he lived with his ill father, Apollo Korzeniowski >

​< 5 Sławkowska Street (Grand Hotel) – the hotel where he stayed with his wife and sons during his visit to Krakow in 1914 >

< there is an annual literary festival under his name >







this city

is an urge for walking

all the roads in the world 

that poets have walked

and gods have sinned

though you know very well 

they are loners, too 

it is also a trap to make you believe in

that gods and poets ask for your presence

to their bodacious corners

and to make you believe in 
that you have an eternity of a king

to become a poetic sinner

and you go​ every time 

every time when they sing

and then the bells of krakow ring     bells of Krakow by s.a.lamis 

                                                                  



                                                                 






Zbigniew Lengren (1919-2003)

why city of literature?

the address:  11 Kanonicza Street 33-332 Kraków

Adam Mickiewicz Monument

the address: Rynek Główny, 30

​the address: Felicjanek 4/2 31-104 Krakow


The greatest Polish Romantic poet and political activist of the 19th century, best known for his epic poem Pan Tadeusz, Mickiewicz spent his whole life either in imprisonment or in exile if not traveling Europe. He was once offered to teach at a university in Krakow yet the offer was soon withdrawn due to the pressure from Austrian authorities, so sadly, he has completed his life without living in Krakow in which his remains now are. 


'Silly girl, listen!'

But she doesn't listen
While the village roofs glisten,
Bright in the sun.

literary postcards from krakow

Krakow, the seventh UNESCO City of Literature, "probably has the highest density of poets in the world."




It is now called 'Matras', a nationwide bookshop chain, but it was once called 'Kamienica Kromerowska." The name has changed over time, the visitors have changed too, but one thing has remained the same in the building; the passion for books.

The place has been core of the bookselling since 1600s, in fact the it is the oldest place for bookselling in Europe.


the address: Rynek Główny, 23  

S.A.LAMIS in MASSOLIT

Zbigniew Lengren, Polish cartoonist, caricaturist, and illustrator,  who was awarded for Order of Smile, (Order Uśmiechu) an international award given by children to adults, had a deep passion for Krakow.

​​​Condrad Festival:


Since 2009, The Conrad Festival is one of the main literary events in Krakow, which involves lectures, discussions, exhibitions, workshops,  film screenings, performances, and concerts, all about literature.


The festival lasts for a week and it is such an inspirational meeting point for all writers and readers from all around the world.


  LITERARY KRAKOW  | UNESCO 'City of Literature'

Księgarnia Bona Books & Cafe:

Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855)

books & coffee :

'Silly girl, what do you do there,
As if there were someone to view there,
A face to gaze on and greet there,
A live form warmly to meet there,
When there is no one, none, do you hear?'
But she doesn't hear.

       The Romantic by Adam Mickiewicz


Matras Bookshop

in footsteps of a poet, a cartoonist and an author

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

back to

Whether you walk in on a rainy, gloomy autumn afternoon or on a sunny summer morning, you would inevitably want to spend the rest of the day, in here. Massolit is more than a bookshop, and more than a cafe, it is a genuine experience. Good coffee, good music, recent literary magazines, and more than 20,000 books (mostly second-hand and in English) to browse in a maze-like building. Heaven for a bibliophile! 

The place also hosts many cultural events - including literary readings, scholarly lectures, art exhibits, and political discussions.

opening hours:

Monday - Thursday 9 am - 9 pm

Friday 9 am - 8 pm

Saturday 10 am - 8 pm

Sunday 10 am - 8 pm



​​Lovely little place nestled in the old town area, where great coffee and delicious food are served. Though the books are mostly in Polish (only two shelves for English books) the atmosphere is great.


They also sell stamps and beautiful postcards for the correspondence lovers!  There are tables outside; such a divine place to drink mulled wine,  in an inspirational atmosphere. A must visit after a stroll around the castle.


​opening times: 

Monday-Sunday 11am-7pm

how to trace Lengren in the city:

< he was a frequent visitor of Matras Bookshop,

where his autograph is on display >

the address: Bracka 14, 31-005 Kraków 

MASSOLIT Books & Cafe:

literary haunts

de Revolutionibus Books & Cafe:

how to trace Mickiewicz in the city:

< his monument is at the Main Market Square >

< he was buried in a crypt at Wawel Cathedral >


De Revolutionibus Books & Cafe is a scientific bookshop and cafe created by the Copernicus Foundation as a place for meetings and debates on philosophical, mathematical, theological, social and literary issues.

A good selection of books in the fields of philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, political science and art yet only  a small section in English, and mainly about Krakow.


​The bookshop regularly hosts many cultural events, as workshops, and readings.

​​opening times:

Mon - Fri 08:30 - 21:00 

Sat - Sun 10:00 - 19:00

Polish-British author Joseph Conrad, an early modernist, the author of great nautical novels, has spent his childhood in Krakow. ​Although he  left when he was 12, the city remained always special for him. 


"It was in that old royal and academical city that I ceased to be a child, became a boy, had known the friendships, the admirations, the thoughts and the indignations of that age."  says Conrad about Krakow.






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