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Krakow Nativity Scene (szopka) Competition
From: 2015.12.02 To: 2015.12.02
Krakow’s famous 'szopka' Nativity Scenes replace the traditional Bethlehem stable with ornate structures inspired by Krakow’s architectural marvels. The szopkas from a few centimeters to mammoths stretching over 2 meters high. The tradition dates back to 1937 and it began as a way for Polish craftsmen and masons to spend the idle weeks of rainy late Autumn. Artisans from across Poland gather in Krakow to compete, some of whom are 3rd generation szopka makers. The competition begins on the first Thursday in December when the szopka craftsmen meet at the Adam Mickiewicz monument in the main square to unveil their creations. After the judging the nativity scenes are moved to the Krzysztofory Palace (History Museum) where they can be admired for the rest of the holiday season. The absolute best entries are added to the permanent collection in the History Museum for year-round viewing. Many szopkas are available for purchase throughout the holiday season, but you have to be quick because the best szopkas are snapped up quickly. You're sure to be amazed by the intricacy and scale of these Christmas masterpieces.