Best time to go to Krakow

Szopka or Nativity Scene Competition 2019

Krakow szopka is a Christmas tradition from the 19th century of recreating the nativity scene

Szopka or Nativity Scene Competition in Krakow 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

Mariusz Cieszewski | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Krakow szopkas are well known all over the country because local masters manage to fit historical landmarks. The most common background for the Krakow’s scene of the Nativity of Jesus Christ are St. Mary's Basilica, Sukiennice trade hall, Wawel Castle, and other recognizable buildings. However, the szopka masters are very creative and ambitious.

Szopka or Nativity Scene Competition in Krakow - Best Season 2019

Some structures are quite small, whereas others may be up to two meters high and three meters wide. Bethlehem itself is often placed on the second floor, and the first floor is reserved for historical figurines. The annual Szopka Competition is held on the first Thursday of December.

Best time for Szopka or Nativity Scene Competition in Krakow 2019

Representatives from the Historical Museum of Krakow organise the event at the Main Square of the Old Town. Children and adults bring their handcrafted szopkas, whereas other Krakowians and tourists gather together to watch the exhibition and to choose the best masterpieces.