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Szopki parade Krakow, Poland
Szopki parade Krakow, Poland Image: Jerzy Bereszko (wikimedia)

Kraków nativity scenes make UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list

The tradition of constructing Christmas 'szopki,' or nativity scenes, in Kraków stretches back to the 19th century and is inexorably tied to the city

UNESCO’s Evaluation Body has issued a positive recommendation for the inclusion of traditional Krakovian ‘szopki’ or nativity scenes on the prestigious UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. A Krakovian szopka presents the biblical scene of the birth of Christ surrounded by the most recognisable landmarks of the city. Often, historical or contemporary social events are portrayed by figures in the scenes. The figures are often mobile and moved by various mechanisms with illumination giving an additional effect.